St. Elizabeth'sServices and Clinical CentersPediatrics

Adolescent - Pediatric Obesity Program

TEEEN Program: Teens - Empowerment - Exercise - Education - Nutrition
In 2003, St. Elizabeth's spearheaded a unique program for children ages 10 to 20 that are considered prone to be overweight or are overweight. This program is an innovative way to address the issues of adolescent type 2 diabetes and obesity by incorporating exercise, education and empowerment tools. The program is held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center, Seton Auditorium. Pre-registration is required prior to session.

While the current rise of type 2 diabetes and simultaneous increase in childhood obesity is one of the most critical concerns in the field of pediatrics, most cases of obesity and type 2 diabetes can be prevented.

Recent reports indicate that 8 percent to 45 percent of children with newly diagnosed diabetes have type 2 diabetes as opposed to 1 percent to 2 percent in previous years. The epidemic of type 2 diabetes correlates with the epidemic of obesity in the pediatric population. The morbidity and mortality associated with these statistics is immense, and the medical care costs to our society are tremendous.

Also, the signs showing the onset of type 2 diabetes are very subtle and easily missed. The disease may be present over many years before the diagnosis is made, and during these years patients are developing other complications that could be affecting their kidneys, eyes and heart, as well as other organs.

The good news, however, is that type 2 diabetes can be prevented. The fundamental cause of the rise in obesity is that energy intake exceeds energy expenditure. Early detection in the pediatric population can have a great impact on prevention. This can lower tremendously the medical cost to our society and improve the health of our adult population.

Adolescent - Pediatric Obesity Program
St. Elizabeth's Medical Center
Shirley Gonzalez, MD, Program Director

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