Letter to the Parents

Dear Parents,

The Northern Illinois Diabetes Coalition (NIDC) is a State of Illinois non-profit organization. It is sponsored by University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford and is located at 1601 Parkview Avenue, Rockford IL 61107. The mission of NIDC is to improve the quality of care provided to persons with diabetes and metabolic syndrome, which is a group of risk factors for type 2 diabetes, to ensure that all, regardless of income, gender, color, creed, or disability, have access to continuing health care. NIDC’s goals are to raise awareness that metabolic syndrome and diabetes are serious, to encourage partnerships between patients and health care providers, and to promote community involvement.

We have found that people need to be aware of the seriousness of diabetes. Doctors, teachers, parents, and people have discovered the need to prevent diabetes in children. Currently, one in three children will have diabetes by 2050. This epidemic will have a horrible social and financial effect on the health care system.

NIDC has developed a program called Peppy Up to decrease diabetes and other chronic diseases, like heart disease, that children will experience later in life. Peppy Up is a book that centers around two main characters: Peppy and Techy. Peppy is a very energetic character that encourages everyone to exercise and eat healthy for energy. Techy is a character that loves to eat junk food and play video games. Techy moves to Peppy’s school and Peppy encourages him to eat healthier and exercise. Techy’s mom develops Type 2 diabetes and his family also starts to eat healthier and exercise. The story will be broken into four educational parts:

1. How our environment impacts our health?
2. What are healthy foods that will bring us energy?
3. How do genetics play a role in our health?
4. What are some fun ways to exercise?

Peppy Up will not be possible without the support of families, teachers, coaches, and community volunteers. Our families are very busy and it is affecting our health. It is very tough to change some of our bad health habits, but working together with families, schools, churches, and other community organizations, we can prevent 70% of diseases. In order to achieve goals, make your family and friends aware of your goal, and reach out for help if needed. Enclosed is a grocery list for your children and your family. The children learn from Peppy if they Eat Their Best they can Be Their Best. Please purchase food from the Peppy Up: Best, Better, or Good List and choose Peppy Down foods one day a week or less. Have children plan out their menu and be part of food preparation and grocery shopping. Tell them they want to be strong, smart, and fast like Peppy. Follow Peppy on peppyup.com or at northernidc.org.

Sincerely Yours,

Patty Nelligan MS, RN
Director of Children’s Diabetes Prevention Committee
Northern Illinois Diabetes Coalition