The South Asian Adolescent Diabetes Awareness Program (SAADAP) implemented a PhotoVoice Project, using a participatory action research (PAR) approach called Beyond the Body. The goal of this arts-based qualitative study was to engage South Asian youth in expressing their perspectives on diabetes prevention that extend beyond the behavioural factors (e.g. physical activity and dietary patterns) they think are important in the community using visual narratives that combines photographs and written “voices”. 


Beyond the Body captures the daily lives of 15 South Asian youth with a family history of diabetes. Through photography, the youth consider the individual, interpersonal, organizational, community and policy level factors that they feel impact diabetes risk and management in their communities. 


The main goals of the PhotoVoice Project through our South Asian youth is to: 

  • Challenge the dominant perspective that blames South Asian individuals for being afflicted with diabetes and brings attention to the structural factors (low income, employment insecurity, low educational attainment, and poor living conditions) that put this racialized community at a higher risk.

  • Inform government, academia, healthcare, social-service agencies and the broader public to think about the influence that public and health policies has on the risk of developing diabetes among the South Asian population.

  • Bring attention to a specific policy in the provision of more diabetes prevention services such as the SAADAP for South Asian youth with a family history of diabetes using a social determinants framework.