Feds fund poetry -- to fight diabetes

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Food and Drink,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Health Care,Medicare and Medicaid,Sugar Industry

The national war on sugar and diabetes has a new weapon, thanks to federal taxpayers: poetry.

Appearing at this week's National Soda Summit in Washington targeting sugary drinks is a group called "The Bigger Picture," which uses poetry and other art forms to "combat the rising epidemic of type 2 diabetes."

The federally-funded group was set to appear Wednesday to "speak the truth to their communities — and to the industry" about the dangers of diabetes.

According to the summit agenda, "These young talents are helping downsize the social and environmental factors that increase the risk of diabetes" through their art.

The Bigger Picture is collaboration between the Robert Redford-backed Youth Speaks and the University of California, San Francisco Center for Vulnerable Populations which uses writing workshops, videos, school assemblies to fight diabetes.

It is funded in part by the National Institute On Minority Health And Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health.

The Soda Summit is sponsored by Center for Science in the Public Interest, which has fought to improve the quality and healthiness of foods such as bacon and french fries.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at