Sugar Trail of the Diabetes Association of Sri Lanka:
The DASL embarked on an a innovative Education and Awareness [E & A] Campaign “The Sugar Trail“ to highlight the need to reduce sugar consumption as it may lead to obesity and diabetes. This campaign launched on World Diabetes Day [WDD] 14th November 2011is continued todate.
‘Fork Spoon’ was witnessed by many coffee shop customers in Colombo on WDD in 2011 which is an ingenious idea where a teaspoon serrated like a fork is placed in sugar bowls.
The birth of ‘Seeni Meanie’ (SM) was seen on WDD in 2012 and continued to 2003. SM is a trilingual word; seeni means sugar in Sinhalese and Tamil whilst meanie is mean in English and is the trademarked logol for Education and Awareness. This school based project empowering school children in 80 national schools island wide to research and create their own awareness campaign to educate their peers, teachers, parents and community on diabetes and prevention through healthy lifestyle practices. Innovative methodologies used were street dramas, art competitions, and composition of poem and song were some of the modalities use.
Seeni Meanie Times was published in the kids corner for 6 months in all 3 languages in popular newspapers. This was an interactive project featuring the daring escapades of SM with many fun activities where kids were e DASL with competitions and quizzes and were rewarded with SM accessories such as hats, masks, stickers and badges.
In 2013, a children’s story book “Life is sweeter with less sugar” written and illustrated by the award winning author Mrs. Sybil Wettasinghe was published. It highlighted that young persons can also get diabetes and emphasized the need to eat healthy and be active to prevent illness. 6000 books were distributed free of charge to grade 5 children in National schools in the Western Province.
In 2014, DASL signed a 10 year agreement with Watawala Tea Ceylon Ltd to print a trilingual logo and message “Life is sweeter with less sugar” is n all their tea packets.
On WDD 2014, #1every6seconds was launched to highlight the little known fact that Diabetes kills as many as Tobacco.
This campaign drew the attention of the President of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) who accepted that the thought concept should be carried forward by the IDF which was the basis for the IDF Framework for Action on Sugar published in May 2015 .
#aneysweet was the awareness campaign for 2015 – 16. Aney is a Sinhalese slang word which means “oh that’s” / “Wow that’s”. The focus was to highlight the fact that sugar is addictive as it boosts “happy hormones” and gives pleasurable sugar highs like other addictive substances.
This led to a partnering with Jetwing Hotels [largest luxury hotel chain in Sri Lanka] where a warning message is printed on all sugar sachets used in the hotels. Further their hotel buffers feature 3 sugar free deserts on a regular basis.
2016 – ‘Sugar crime’ was a stunt campaign of a hypothetical murder victim’s body outlined with sugar was displayed in busy prime public locations