Over the past few years, there has been an increase in the prevalence of obesity and diabetes in Mexico, but particularly in Chiapas. In fact, over the last three years there has been a 30% increase in deaths caused by diabetes in the area. Much of this crisis is the result of corporations like Coca Cola and PepsiCo, which have factories that supply the entire country there. By essentially stealing the clean water for production purposes, they are forcing the inhabitants of Chiapas to consume their products seeing as water is mostly unavailable at that point. Chiapas is also the state with the lowest literacy rate in the country — only 77% of its population are literate.
Diabeteracy is a two-part visual system, that aims to facilitate the understanding and treatment of diabetes to illiterate diabetics in Chiapas. The first part is a didactic tool patients use during their group appointments. It allows them to understand what happens how certain behavioural tendencies help or hinder the condition. The second part is an analog food tracking system that enables patients to eat in a way that favours their condition with ease.
Diabeteracy aims to provide a tool for diabetics and physicians in Chiapas to close the communication gap between them, resulting in a decrease in complications and higher understanding of the condition. On the long term, Diabeteracy not only explores a solution to a neglected public health crisis, but it also raises questions about corporate privilege, corruption and an inefficient public health system.