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.