Obesity in Youth

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Obesity is a leading cause of Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes raises the risk of kidney failure, blindness, stroke and heart disease. If untreated, diabetes may even result in the loss of a limb. In today’s modern society, more children are being exposed to an increased risk of contracting Type 2 diabetes than ever before. The changes in technology, population growth and economy have had a large effect on their lives and ability to avoid becoming obese. For example, children no longer play outside for extended periods of time due to television, video games and the internet. Food and dietary changes have also been partly to blame for the increase in diabetes and obesity. Mental health issues such as depression are another huge obstacle in ensuring a healthy recovery. Research conducted over the years has shown a rapid rise in potential and confirmed cases of Type 2 diabetes due to the expanding waistlines of American youth.

Research studies have been conducted on how many are effected, where they live in the world and the total potential cost to the health providers and business. The largest groups affected are inner city minority youth, who may be living in poverty; compounded by the decreased access to healthy foods and safe exercise areas. In New York City, Type 2 diabetes is the fourth biggest killer in the city because of the high obesity rates of Hispanic and Black residents. While the treatment is relatively simple the hardest part is re-education. The study looked at creating innovative programs to teach lifestyle change through nutrition education, physical activity and improvement of self-image; all common treatments for childhood obesity.

In 2002 nurses at Yale School of Nursing developed a testing program aimed at preventing Type 2 diabetes among high-risk youth. The research and approach taken in the prevention program was defined as Coping Skills Training (CST)....
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