Lonna Gordon, MD, PharmD
For teenagers, obesity is about more than just medical health: obesity can impact teen’s body image and self-esteem, putting them at risk for unhealthy behaviors and toxic relationships that can easily follow them into adulthood.
That’s why it’s important to teach teens resilience, healthy habits, and positive self-esteem at any size. This summer, my colleagues at the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center started a new Teen Fit Program. Three times a week, teens in our program can attend free Zumba, kickboxing, or spin classes. These fitness classes help teens increase their strength and self-confidence, and reap the mood- and energy-boosting benefits of exercise. Read more
Suicide is an epidemic among transgender youth — and it’s preventable.
Suicide can impact anyone, but transgender teens are at particular risk. Studies have shown that between 30 and 50 percent of transgender youth have seriously considered suicide, and one quarter have attempted to end their lives.
But not all transgender teens face equal risk. Unsurprisingly, teens with supportive parents are far less likely to try to end their lives. A recent Toronto study found that, among transgender teens whose parents were very supportive, 4% had attempted suicide?—?compared to 57% of teens whose parents were somewhat to not at all supportive Read more
The Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center (MSAHC) honored four individuals and a nonprofit organization for their commitment to the young people of New York City at its eleventh annual “Breakfast of Legends” event held Thursday, October 23, at The Plaza Hotel.
The MSAHC is one of the largest and most comprehensive adolescent health centers in the nation, and provides free medical, mental health, sexual and reproductive health, dental, and optical services to more than 11,000 underserved youth and young adults, ages 10 to 24.
There are more than 42 million adolescents between the ages of 10-19 in the United States. Worldwide one in six people is a teenager. As recently noted by the World Health Organization, “Promoting healthy practices during adolescence, and taking steps to better protect young people from health risks are critical for the prevention of health problems in adulthood, and for countries’ future health and social infrastructure.” In other words, if we want to keep our communities healthy, teen health is essential.
Since the mid-20th century, the health field has recognized the unique needs of adolescents and their right to developmentally appropriate services that openly address the health and behavioral realities of teen life. Today, adolescent medicine is an established field as a sub-specialty of pediatrics. MDs with training in pediatrics, family medicine, or internal medicine can enter adolescent medicine fellowship programs.
We commonly hear that two-thirds of all adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese, and that adult obesity has risen at an alarming rate over the past 30 years. What is less commonly heard is that the rate of obesity has risen nearly three times faster in adolescents as compared to adults in the past 30 years! Importantly, 70 percent of obese teens become obese adults, and adult obesity has been linked to other serious diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and several forms of cancer. Thus, the teen years represent a particularly crucial time to reach kids and help them build healthier habits that they can continue into adulthood.