Diabetes Canada and Walmart Canada highlight the importance of taking action during Diabetes Awareness Month

Toronto, Ont. (November 4, 2021) – Diabetes Canada and Walmart Canada are pleased to partner together to highlight the importance of taking action to address the diabetes epidemic during Diabetes Awareness Month. One simple action includes screening for type 2 diabetes.

Every November, during Diabetes Awareness Month, the diabetes community and its supporters, come together to shine a light on the disease and its affects. This year, Diabetes Canada is working with partners such as Walmart Canada to urge Canadians to take action to end diabetes. Every action, no matter how big or small, brings us closer to a future without diabetes.

On November 14, 2021—World Diabetes Day—Walmart Canada will take action by facilitating an in-store event where they will be providing free type 2 diabetes screening and consultations at all Walmart pharmacies (excluding Accès pharma Quebec pharmacies) and vision centres throughout the day. Walmart pharmacists will be providing a blood sugar screening and pan opportunity for customers to complete a CANrisk questionnaire—a survey to access if you are at higher risk of having *prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Walmart opticians will be providing self-assessments for general eye health and diabetic retinopathy and assisting with scheduling routine eye exams as needed.

“We are pleased to see Walmart Canada providing this free, type 2 diabetes screening day to Canadians around the country,“ said Laura Syron, President and CEO for Diabetes Canada. “It is the collective efforts, such as this screening day, that will continue to drive awareness and progress to help end diabetes.”

Type 2 diabetes is a disease in which your body cannot make enough insulin (a hormone that helps control the amount of glucose or sugar in your blood) or does not properly use the insulin it makes. It is found in approximately 90 per cent of Canadians living with diabetes, therefore, screening is particularly important as nearly 11.5 million Canadian are living with diabetes or prediabetes. Canada has one of the highest rates of diabetes among developed countries, with someone being diagnosed every three minutes.

"We are very proud to partner with Diabetes Canada to help educate and inform about diabetes prevention,” said Shelly Kiroff, Senior Vice-President, Health and Wellness, Pharmacy, Walmart Canada. “Our trusted pharmacists and opticians always want to help as many customers as possible and our commitment to our customers' health and well-being is stronger than ever. We invite Canadians to take part in our in-store screening event on Nov. 14 and to speak to one of our many Certified Diabetes Educators pharmacists for more information."

Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes:

  • high blood pressure
  • high levels of cholesterol or other fats in the blood
  • a high BMI or are overweight (especially if that weight is mostly carried around the tummy)
  • prediabetes (impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
  • psychiatric disorders (schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder)
  • obstructive sleep apnea 
  • darkened patches of skin called acanthosis nigricans

Diabetes Facts:

  • Close to 11.5 million Canadians are living with diabetes or prediabetes.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in those 20-65 years of age. 
  • Diabetes contributes to 30% of strokes, 40% of heart attacks, 50% of kidney failure requiring dialysis.
  • Diabetes is the cause of 70 per cent of all non-traumatic limb amputations.
  • Having diabetes can shorten one’s lifespan by five to 15 years.
  • Diabetes costs the healthcare system $30 billion dollars to treat.
  • According to Stats Canada, not including accidents, diabetes is a leading cause of death for all ages in Canada.

Throughout November, Diabetes Canada is aiming to achieve 100,000 actions to help end diabetes. Those visiting diabetes.ca/takeaction can join the community mosaic and share what they are doing to take action this November.

* Prediabetes is a condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.

About Diabetes Canada
Diabetes Canada is the registered national charitable organization that is making the invisible epidemic of diabetes visible and urgent. Diabetes Canada partners with Canadians to End Diabetes through:

  • Resources for health care professionals on best practices to care for people with diabetes;
  • Advocacy to governments, schools and workplaces; and
  • Funding world-leading Canadian research to improve treatments and find a cure.

For more information, visit diabetes.ca or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).

About Walmart Canada
Walmart Canada operates a chain of more than 400 stores nationwide serving 1.5 million customers each day. Walmart Canada's flagship online store, Walmart.ca is visited by more than 900,000 customers daily. With more than 100,000 associates, Walmart Canada is one of Canada's largest employers and is ranked one of the country's top 10 most influential brands. Walmart Canada was recently recognized as a LinkedIn Top Company of 2021 and was also named one of Canada’s most popular brands (based on Google searches). Walmart Canada's extensive philanthropy program is focused on supporting Canadian families in need, and since 1994 Walmart Canada has raised and donated more than $500 million to Canadian charities. Additional information can be found at walmartcanada.ca and on Walmart Canada’s social media pages – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

To schedule an interview:
Pilar Iglesias
National Communications Manager
Diabetes Canada
Pilar.iglesias@gmail.com

Felicia Fefer
Corporate Affairs
Walmart Canada
Felicia.Fefer@walmart.com