Friday, July 30, 2010
"Adult" Onset Diabetes Prevention...in TEENS
A study was published last month called the "HEALTHY Study- Middle school-based intervention to reduce diabetes risk." Basically, the researchers took 42 schools, home to over 4000 students, and divided them into two groups: one group was the control, and the other group received changes in school food services, more intense PE classes, and classroom activities to promote healthy behaviors.
Happily, the treatment group did indeed shrink waistlines, BMIs (Body Mass Index), and insulin levels. Surprisingly, both groups had close to the same amount of weight loss (4% in the intervention group, and 4.5% in the controls.) Actually, I'm not that surprised, because kids are smart. The so-called "control group" knew that they were involved in a study about health, and were in fact, specifically tested with health screening, and if they had abnormal results, they were advised to seek care from their health provider.
Personally, I'm pleased that BOTH groups lost weight (as opposed to the nurses' study I discussed earlier this week, where it was a matter of which group GAINED less weight.)
What should our take home message be from this study? There is no age too early to emphasize healthy behaviors, and at the critical time of puberty, we need to give it a full court press! Kids can and WILL make changes if they are educated and offered opportunity to do so.
BOTTOM LINE: "Adult" onset diabetes is kicking in younger and younger as our population gains weight. Let's reverse this trend!