This observation comes from Karen Lechowich, MBA, RD, ADA's executive administrator for diversity, alliances and international relations. I thought it was important to share her concern here, namely: What about the teens?
When tackling the obesity issue in this country we focus on children and adults. Adolescents are often overlooked, but according to the Centers for Disease Control, the prevalence of obesity among those aged 12 to 19 years has increased from 5.0% to 18.1% over the past 30 years. Type 2 diabetes among teens has increased dramatically as a result.
How about intervening at the start of junior high and again before college with a screening that includes an assessment of healthy weight. When there is an issue with overweight or obesity (or disordered eating), these teens can be referred to private or community resources for help learning to maintain weight successfully and pursue a healthier lifestyle. This strategy takes advantage of natural transitions in a teen's life and, once established, will become a normal part of progressing through school.