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  • Anne Mullens

UBC Okanagan researchers win award for promoting diabetes remission

We have some exciting news. Recently, researchers at the University of BC Okanagan won a BC award for their social media campaign that promoted IPTN's website and raised awareness that remission is possible for type 2 diabetes.

The awareness campaign was led by researchers Dr. Jonathan Little, a Professor in the Faculty of Health and Social Development (below right), and Dr. Barbara Oliveira, a Research Coordinator with the School of Health and Exercise Sciences. It featured special videos of the remission stories of four of the individuals found on the site: Amy, JJ, Theresa, and Chris.

The videos, created by filmmaker Damien Gillis, described how they each put their type 2 diabetes into remission with diet and exercise. These videos were then pushed out in a paid ad campaign on Facebook to various demographic users, particularly men and women over the age of 60.

The campaign won the T2 Spark Innovation Challenge, which was a contest that provided a platform for students, researchers, healthcare providers, innovators, and people living with or affected by Type 2 diabetes. Participants had an opportunity to pitch, in front of a panel of judges in a Dragon’s Den style format, creative ideas that could help with Type 2 diabetes prevention, management, and remission. The UBCO team won $15,000 first prize, which they will use in future campaigns to raise awareness of type 2 diabetes remission.the On World Diabetes Day, November 14, UBC Okanagan's media relations department sent out an in-depth news release as a Q&A with Dr. Little, describing the award, the making of the videos, the social media campaign, and reason why it is so important to get the word out that diabetes does not have to be a chronic, progressive disease if you are willing to make changes to your diet and adopt some easy exercise. Dr. Little explained the rationale: "Through the power of story and social media, we wish to connect with broader audiences nationally and internationally to demonstrate the value and hope that type 2 remission can bring to patients."

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