Seeing “The Bigger Picture:” Impact of an Arts-Focused Type 2 Diabetes Education Program in High Schools

Young African American woman passionately speaking into a microphone on stage.

Students exposed to The Bigger Picture curriculum were more likely to identify that diabetes is not just an individual problem, but a structural problem with environmental, historical, political, and sociocultural roots. These sentiments were also reflected in analyses of their spoken word poetry.

  • Students receiving an arts-based type 2 diabetes public health literacy curriculum more frequently articulated the connections between race/ethnicity and type 2 diabetes as a social justice issue than those in the non-health-focused arts-based program.
  • Review of poems created by students in the arts-based type 2 diabetes program revealed youth’s detailed understanding of the structural factors impacting type 2 diabetes.
  • The program deepened students’ alignment with of health as a shared value, positively influencing their mindsets and expectations around health equity and its drivers, while upholding their sense of community and confidence around civic engagement.

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