Amerigroup Louisiana and the American Diabetes Association Louisiana & Mississippi have joined efforts to fight the increasing epidemic of type 2 diabetes in children. Amerigroup has provided a $10,000 grant to sponsor the American Diabetes Association’s Camp PowerUp! in New Orleans that will take place June 5 – 16. Camp PowerUp! is a free summer camp program in Orleans Parish for children between the ages of 9 and 14, who are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The summer camp is one of two of its kind in Louisiana, and one of 11 across the nation being offered by the American Diabetes Association to promote diabetes prevention. The camp will offer nutritional education, physical activity and social/emotional support that encourage youth to adopt healthy lifestyles. It will also focus on engaging the campers’ families to make healthy choices and to stay physically active together.
“Type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents now represents one of the most rapidly growing forms of diabetes in the country, which is very alarming,” said Dr. Raymond Poliquit, Amerigroup Louisiana medical director. “Amerigroup is passionate about educating children and helping them to become more engaged in their health, so they can thrive as adults, and we are pleased that the American Diabetes Association has brought Camp PowerUp! to New Orleans to help our children build healthier futures.”
Studies show that 1 in 3 children born after the year 2000 are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes in their lifetime, and may experience complications such as heart attack, stroke, kidney disease blindness and amputation at earlier ages. Diabetes is the fifth leading cause of death in Orleans Parish, while complications from diabetes, such as stroke and heart disease, are the leading causes of death in Orleans Parish. In the New Orleans metro area, approximately 21 percent of resident children are obese and at risk for developing diabetes; however, type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed for many years with simple lifestyle choices such as eating healthy and becoming more active.
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