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.

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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.

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“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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