By: Melissa Levine | B.Sc. Candidate in Health & Nutrition, Brooklyn College


PURPOSE & MISSION STATEMENT We all remember growing up with a favorite blanket, sippy-cup or teddy bear that gave us comfort and reassurance. Such transitional objects aid children by giving them a feeling of protection and that everything in their world is alright. Children with Type 1 (T1) Diabetes are exposed to adult concerns and responsibilities, making these objects essential. The goal of our product line, BEAT-EZ BOWLZ, is to provide children with an exciting and fun tool to aid in alleviating some of the stresses of the disease. Our products will also assist children in managing their diet, giving them a sense of ownership over their own bodies and health. The product line consists of dishwasher safe pre-measured bowls and cups that are transportable for use both in the home and on the go. With fun colors, designs and characters to keep kids engaged, these products will help educate children during everyday activities (drinking a cup of juice, eating a bowl of cereal) on how to manage and maintain their health, blood sugar levels and weight. Beat-Ez Bowlz creator has lived with T1 Diabetes since the age of 11. After years of measuring portions to carefully monitor her intake of sugar and carbohydrates, it became second nature for her to be able to visualize appropriate serving sizes. She learned that measuring portions makes it possible to make responsible and healthy dietary choices in any given situation. She no longer had to rely on third party translation. However, not every diabetic is as diligent. Structured portion control should be common practice for all T1 Diabetics, but especially for children. Beginning this process at an earlier age increases the likelihood that children will remain watchful of their diet and become more aware of portion sizes. This convenient and affordable line of dishware would pre-measure not only cups or ounces, but generally recommended levels of juice or food that correspond to glucose readings. For example, if a child was experiencing symptoms of hypoglycemia, that child would know that he or she needed raise their blood glucose. With a cup from BeatEz Bowlz, he or she would be able to see the recommended amount of juice that would help in raising their glucose levels (4oz or ½ cup for a reading between 70 – 80). With Beat-Ez Bowlz, even after school snacks become easier to manage. By following recommended diabetic “exchange” levels, it will be easy for a child to adhere to more accurate serving sizes. When a child arrives home from school and knows that he or she is allowed to have two exchanges of milk and one exchange of cereal for a snack, by reaching for Beat-Ez Bowlz the task becomes two steps easier. Rather than using two separate measuring cups for the milk and the cereal, and also remembering how many cups or ounces of each equal one exchange, all the information the child will need will be indicated on their corresponding Beat-Ez cup or bowl.

The functionality of this product is universal and will work in all environments, situations and cultures for children with T1 Diabetes. By arming children with an easy, fun and exciting way to manage their levels, they and their parents will be more at ease during

key childhood events such as spending the night at a friend’s house, or a summer at sleep away camp. Beat-Ez Bowlz will become the functional security blanket that children may take with them for reassurance, and will give parents peace of mind. According to a 2009 study by the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, the rate of new cases of T1 Diabetes was 19.7 per 100,000 for children under the age of 10. With so many children living with T1 Diabetes today, the education for teachers, administrative day care professionals and other adults is alarmingly low. Only 2% of teachers report knowing how to handle a child going into diabetic shock, according to peer-reviewed journal Preventing Chronic Disease (Special Issue November 2, 2008; A11). Beat-Ez Bowlz provides an easy and manageable way to enable children to be in control of his or her own health at any given time, making them the teachers. And in the worstcase scenarios, the products are so easy to interpret and understand that other individuals can spring into action if necessary.

Demographics Beginning with a general line of Beat-Ez Bowlz that may be used across the population of children with T1 Diabetes, we will then expand into a more specific and tailored line of dishware that will more accurately pinpoint an individual’s recommended levels. In the same way that insulin pumps and continuous glucose measurers may be custom-made to reflect one’s particular measurements, Beatez Bowlz will employ the same technology to create tailored cups and bowls that would reflect a user’s personal levels and recommended amounts of exchanges. While the primary target market of this product is a demographic consisting of children newly diagnosed and living with T1 Diabetes, this product will also be helpful to those living with or at risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. This portion control product will be a fun and beneficial tool in allowing them to quickly, accurately and easily improve their

eating habits, thereby improving their health and quality of life. This additional market would increase the customer base. There are an estimated 23.6 million individuals in the United States alone living with Diabetes, and 90% of those cases are Type 2 Diabetes (ref: Ohio State Medical Center). Products Beyond the everyday use of dishes and cups, the Beat-Ez Bowlz line has the potential to expand into storage containers that act as pre-measured portion watchers, allowing kids to see how much of an item (oatmeal, cereal, pasta, pretzels, chips etc.) is to be placed on the plate or serving dish as it is dispensed. Licensing To engage children even more actively and make learning about health and diet fun, individual character licensing agreements can be pursued with major children’s media organizations. Disney is a particularly well-positioned partner as popular Disney star and rock-and-roll artist, Joe Jonas, is a particularly vocal celebrity on the issue and importance of diabetes awareness. By co-branding Beat-Ez Bowlz with favorite cartoon or live-action characters (i.e. Hannah Montana), children identify with the product and take ownership of its function – managing their health proactively and building a foundation of knowledge and good habits for the future.

In 2008, the American Association of Diabetes Educators conducted an applied research experiment with a control and experimental group of individuals with diabetes. The purpose was to ascertain what type of “intervention” (i.e. Education only, Lifestyle, Hospitalization) achieved the most resonance with patients (measured by the improvement of their life and amount of relapses). The AADE found that Lifestyle Intervention, defined as situational problem solving, cognitive reframing and stimulus control training, had the most effect on helping individuals with diabetes better manage their lives. With Lifestyle Intervention, participants saw a 58% decrease in incidence of diabetes. Our product sits at the intersection of lifestyle change, not only providing an education but also a tool that allows for an easy way to manage life with diabetes. By focusing on children, we are targeting the first line of defense for diabetes awareness and education, ensuring that an entire generation of children will grow up to be responsible, healthy adults able to pass on this information for generations to come.


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