Introduction  Need or Purpose            Diabetes mellitus continuesto rise among children, adults, and seniors with 1.5 million new diagnoses of diabetes each year (ADA, 2017).  In 2015, 30.

3 million Americans (9.4% of thepopulation) had diabetes, and approximately 1.25 million American children andadults had type 1 diabetes, previously known as adolescent diabetes due to its prevalence in children (ADA, 2017).  In 2011-2012, the annual incidence ofdiagnosed diabetes in youth was estimated at 17,900 with type 1 diabetes and5,300 with type 2 diabetes (ADA, 2017).

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 About 193,000 Americans under the age of 20 are estimated to havediagnosed diabetes, which is approximately 0.24% of that population (ADA, 2017).  This increase in diabetes also means anincrease in overall direct medical costs, reduced productivity, and an increasein indirect medical costs (ADA, 2017). If the prevention of diabetes targeted children/youth of our country, then costs may plateau or decrease as fewer people/children are diagnosed withdiabetes.  A diabetes preventioneducation program is needed in order to increase awareness that diabetes can be(for the most part) be prevented through diet and exercise.

  This education program would beprovided/funded privately (not via school/school district) and would be aseries of presentations, lectures, cooking demos, active physical activity classesin order to provide a well-rounded understanding of the disease, and offer tipsand advice on how to prevent children from the diagnosis of this disease.  The goal would be that these children would takethis knowledge home and share with the family, as well as grow to become adultsthat are health/nutrition aware to increase the chances of continuedpreventions.                  Project Description            An educational programfor diabetes prevention in school children will be a series of presentations toraise awareness of type II diabetes and ways to prevent or delay it with dietand exercise.  Children will learn abouttype II diabetes and their risk factors, which include obesity, not exercising, and poor eating habits.  The presentations will include lectures,healthy snack ideas, and physical activity classes with the goal of educatingchildren to eat healthy, exercise, and maintain a healthy lifestyle as a meansof preventing type II diabetes.              Eating healthy will bestressed with the importance of eating more fruits and vegetables.  They will learn to Create Your Plate by avisualization showing how to fill half a dinner plate with non-starchy vegetables,the other half divided into half with a lean protein, and the remaining quarterwith carbohydrates or starches, such as brown rice or whole grain pasta (“Create Your Plate: American Diabetes Association®,”n.d.

).  Mealsshould include water and sugar-sweeteneddrinks including, sodas, juices, sports drinks, and coffee drinks should belimited, which add calories with little or no nutritional value.  Children should limit their intake of fastfood should and learn to make healthier choices at restaurants (“PreventingType 2 in Children: American Diabetes Association®,” n.d.

). A demonstration on how to make healthy snacks will include fruit andcheese kabobs, vegetable hummus cups, and ham and cheese pretzel bites.To be more active, children should limit their screentime of computers, video games, and television to no more than two hours aday.

  Aerobic exercise can be a part ofnormal daily activities, including brisk walking, running, bike riding,swimming, and school team sports. Strength training, such as hand weights, pull-ups, and push-ups shouldbe added to their routine three or four times a week.  Recreational sports such as hiking, walking,sports, and dancing can relieve stress and are activities that can be done withfriends or family (Diabetes Association, n.d.).

  Programs with the YMCA or Boys and Girls Clubshould be promoted as a means of involving students in physical exercise or teamsports.In closing, the presentation will encourage school kidsto keep a log or journal of their daily activities and diet.  Including their friends and family membersare a way to teach others and stay motivated.??Anticipated BenefitsThe benefits of a good education in diabetes and itsprevention are fundamental, but unfortunately one of the most deficientbranches of medicine is prevention and not only in diabetes but in alldiseases, that can prevent its appearance. Although diabetes has a hereditary genetic character, general habits,lifestyle, nutrition, habitat, economy, politics, health system, and many otherfactors directly affect the development and exponential growth of patients withdiabetes, adding that Type 1 diabetes remains one of the most important healthproblems in childhood.Diabetes education and prevention, as well as goodeating habits, should be instilled inchildren from an early age, and what better than in schools where they spendmost of the day.  The statistics are notpositive, the rates of newly diagnosedcases of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are increasing in youth population in theUnited States.  Approximately 208,000people younger than 20 years are living with diagnosed diabetes (National Institutesof Health – NIH 2017).

  After thecalculation of annual incidence rates between 2002–2012 period, 11,245 youthswith type 1 diabetes between 0 to 19 years old, and 2846 with type 2 diabetesbetween 10 to 19 years old were identified. Diabetes type 1 diabetes increasedby 1.4% annually, and this pattern repeats exponentially year after year (TheNew England Journal of Medicine – NEJM 2017).There is a factor that we do not take into account, and althougheducation in this subject is essential in schools, those who have the greatestresponsibility for education and prevention are the parents.  They may lack the necessary information ormay not have the time to provide a healthy lifestyle for their children,including a healthy diet and physical activities, and resort to fast foodbecause the current pace of life is so demanding.  If we add to these factors that there is nolaw or official requirement in which schools must have diabetes education andprevention programs and it is not considered essential, as the problem worsens,in fact, many schools consider thattreating only the obesity issue that undoubtedly goes hand in hand with thedevelopment of diabetes is enough.

Since 2012 there are over 500 community-based groups,health care providers, employers, and health plans that offer national diabetesprevention programs covering every state in the country (Centers for DiseaseControl and Prevention’s – CDC 2015), but nothing focuses education orprevention specifically in the schools.  Thereis a great need for well-structured and easy-to-understand programs thatinclude nutritional information that families can implement, as well as easyaccess to physical activities.  Morecampaigns are also needed in schools for health plans that include preventivescreenings covered by medical insurance or at low costs that parents canafford, to improve diabetes rates at school age.Supports and Costs Diabetes is considered a disability by federal lawsSection 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Individuals with DisabilitiesEducation Act, and Americans Disability Act. These laws support and implement programs and give grants to public andreligious schools to employ educated staff to help diabetic students with theirneeds.

 Any public school receivingfederal funds must accommodate special needs for students with diabetes (ADA,2016).  Some sources include free or reduced breakfast and lunchprograms, special education grants, and professional development programs forteachers and staff.  Support needs cancome from the community and parents of diabetic students.  Financial costs can be shared and contributed by the local community, grocery stores, andfitness centers.  Boys and Girls Clubsupports young students not only in academicsbut also encourages participation in sports and physical exercise.  A child can be mentored in physical sports witha donation of nineteen dollars a month to the Boys and Girls Club.