By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia will host its largest convention of the year later this week.  About 17,000 people are expected to attend the American Diabetes Association’s Science Sessions.

In honor of the convention, the Nutter Administration proclaimed this “Stop Diabetes Week.”  The disease has been called a pandemic that slowly takes its toll on patients’ bodies in varied and sometimes deadly ways.  Genes can play a role but environmental factors, like what you eat and how much you weigh, are some of the major concerns.

Dr. Giridhar Mallya of the Philadelphia Health Department says programs, from a healthy corner store network to bike lanes, are part of the push-back and in many places even vending machines are being reconfigured to help the fight against diabetes.

“It’s the healthy choices that are more prominent,” Mallya said. “They’re at eye-level.  There’s calorie labeling on the machines and the advertised or featured product is water.”

Expect treatment announcements for diabetes to be made at the convention but a cure: probably not.

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