Wellness Week in the Americas promotes prevention of diabetes through healthy eating and active living

12 Sep 2016

Washington, DC, September 12, 2016 (PAHO/WHO)  - A series of events celebrating the Pan American Health Organization's Wellness Week kicked off today in Washington, with a financial wellbeing webinar and a healthy food fest. 

 "All for Health, Step Up!"  Is the event's theme for 2016, focusing on health promotion and prevention of diabetes through healthy eating and active living. Stress reduction in the workplace is a special effort, with several events on worker well-being, displays on respect in the workplace, Tai Chi demonstrations and others. 

Wellness Week events in various forms are being held in many of PAHO's offices throughout the Americas. Mexico is hosting nursing students who advocate drinking more water and less sweetened drinks to prevent diabetes and obesity. Peru is having nutritional evaluation and testing for cholesterol in community centers.

Another topic addressed in Wellness Week is "Uncovering Disabilities," focusing on action to remove barriers which prevent people with disabilities from accessing services of all sorts.   

A highlight of Wellness Week will be PAHO's Walk for Health, initiated some 20 years ago, which encourages staff members, relatives, and friends to walk a beautiful route through Washington. It starts Friday at 11 a.m. at the PAHO Building. 

On Sunday, PAHO will participate in the D.C. Fiesta, an annual celebration by Washington's Latin community, with health promotion materials and activities.  

Wellness Week was originally inspired by Caribbean Wellness Day, which is celebrated in September each year in Caribbean countries to raise public awareness about non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and their prevention through healthy living. Since 2011, communities throughout the hemisphere have participated in the initiative, with activities ranging from health walks and bike rides to healthy-food fairs.