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Beat Diabetes: Painting the city blue.

Summary: Thousands of residents woke up early on Friday to be a part of the Beat Diabetes Walkathon organised by the Landmark Group. A good stretch of the Shaikh Zayed Road was dressed in blue as over 13,000 people joined the Walkathon flagged off by international cricketing legend, Wasim Akram, from the Oasis Centre.

Thousands of residents woke up early on Friday to be a part of the Beat Diabetes Walkathon organised by the Landmark Group. A good stretch of the Shaikh Zayed Road was dressed in blue as over 13,000 people joined the Walkathon flagged off by international cricketing legend, Wasim Akram, from the Oasis Centre.

"Diabetes is increasingly becoming a cause for concern around the globe," said Wasim Akram. "In most cases, diabetes is the outcome of a sedentary lifestyle. Being aware means having the know-how to tackle the issues that may lead to the condition. The Beat Diabetes initiative is spreading awareness through an inspiring platform of engagement and education, and I am happy to be a part of this."

Walkathons were additionally held during November across Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and India with over 33,000 participants coming together to demonstrate their support for diabetes awareness.

The Beat Diabetes walkathons mark the culmination of a year-long timeline of diabetes awareness drives and activities led by the Landmark Group.

The walkathon was preceded by a fortnight-long wellness festival at the Oasis Centre to raise awareness on managing diabetes. Renuka Jagtiani, Vice-Chairperson, Landmark Group, said: "Now in its fourth year, the Beat Diabetes initiative has touched the lives of millions of people across seven countries. The support offered by residents and institutions towards this year's edition of the walkathon has been extremely encouraging. Our mission is to keep this momentum going and urge people to adopt a healthy and active lifestyle."

According to new figures released by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), globally the number of people living with diabetes has risen to 371 million in 2012, compared to 366 million in 2011. One in every nine adults has diabetes in the Middle East and this is set to rise. IDF also estimates that nearly 50 per cent of these individuals are yet to be diagnosed.

Trainers from Fitness First led a mass warm-up session prior to the walk. Upbeat music from Dubai Drums added a fun element to the morning activity. Participants were also provided with complimentary t-shirts, caps, and wristbands in blue -- the colour that symbolises the cause universally. The walkers enjoyed a healthy breakfast, while live music and children's entertainment such as face painting and balloon bending livened up the ambience at the venue.

muaz@khaleejtimes.com

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Date:Nov 24, 2012
Words:461
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