Today CMCH recognizes World Diabetes Day. While this serious disease is growing at alarming rates due to higher rates of obesity, unhealthy diets, and sedentary lifestyles, there is, thankfully, lots of media attention and research dedicated to learning more about it and combatting its causes and effects.
- World Diabetes Day is an initiative of the International Diabetes Federation. You can read about today and the group's other projects and resources here.
- Along with other researchers, CMCH Director Dr. Michael Rich did a study on diabetic teens in which the teens were given a chance to make videotapes about their lives and experiences with the illness. You can read about the study here, or you can learn all about the VIA project and its other subjects here.
- Obesity leads to diabetes, and obesity rates are not blind to race, class, or ethnicity. In response to the data that African American and Latina/o teens are more likely to be obese than their peers of other backgrounds, USC researcher Donna Spruijt-Metz developed a mobile monitoring system for those teens that can be worn inobtrusively in order to take readings throughout the day on various vital signs and physical activity levels. The data was then sent back to the wearers with tips and summaries. In the focus group of 12 teens, Spruijt-Metz found that they had positive feelings about the devices. A similar project in 2008 looked at a text messaging service for adolescents already suffering from diabetes.
- The trend these days is to develop active games, or exergames, to encourage video game users and sedentary children and teens to get moving. But do they actually increase physical activity and improve health? CMCH has gathered research on the topic, including two studies from this year: 1, 2.
- Diabetes can sometimes be avoided or managed with a healthy diet, but it's hard to make that seem fun or feasible to all young people and families. With busy schedules, salaries that just won't stretch, and mixed messages from the media, it can be difficult to get started on that path. However, there are many magazines and websites for kids, teens, and families dedicated to cooking together and learning about where your food comes from. Check out Chop Chop Magazine, Ingredient magazine, CookingTeens.com, or KickinKitchen TV for great ideas to get started. With that in mind, take a look at this article on Readers to Eaters, an initiative that promotes food literacy as a road to good health and academic achievement.
- If you'd like to take a look at special populations and specific factors that can lead to diabetes or overweight, take a look at this study on American Indian and Alaska Native youth or this study on correlations between screen time and metabolic risk factors.
Have you found any other research or press that is acknowledging World Diabetes Day? Let us know!