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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 03/10/2012

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Experts have warned that youth in the UAE are at an increased risk of acquiring diabetes Type 2 conditions in adulthood.

Diabetes complications such as cardiovascular disease, kidney diseases and stroke are just some of the illnesses brought on by unhealthy diet and lack of exercise in adolescent years.

The US Guidelines for Adolescent Preventive Services suggest that from ages 11 to 21, all adolescents should have an annual routine health visit. Parents in the UAE are being advised to follow these recommendations.

Dr Nayara Sarhan, consultant family physician and assistant professor at the Arabian Gulf University in Bahrain, will speak about 'Handling Adolescents in Primary Care' at the Family Medicine Conference taking place from October 14 to 16 at the Abu Dhabi Medical Congress (ADMC) at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec).

She said that it is essential for parents to take their adolescent children for regular health checkups in order to monitor any risks, either physically or psychologically, that could potentially lead to conditions such as diabetes in their future."To make it more convenient for parents and healthcare providers, school students should be screened at least once in each adolescent period which includes early adolescent (aged 10-13 years), middle (aged 14-17 years), and in late adolescent (aged 17-19 years)," said Dr Sarhan.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), overweight and obesity are increasing among young people in both low- and high-income countries. Adequate nutrition and healthy eating and physical exercise habits at this age are foundations for good health in adulthood.

According to Dr Yasser Nakhlawi, Chair of the Paediatrics Institute, Shaikh Khalifa Medical City, Abu Dhabi, who is also a speaker at the upcoming Family Medicine Conference, adolescents also develop eating disorders that affect their growth, development and sometimes even lead to morbidity.

"Statistics state that approximately 1 per cent of girls in the age group of 12-18 are anorexic, 1-3 per cent of girls are bulimic and approximately 20 per cent are engaged in less severe unhealthy dieting," explained Dr Nakhlawi.

From a nutritional perspective, three quarters of adolescents do not eat recommended portion sizes. Another observation with regards to adolescents' physical activity was that the level dropped dramatically between children from grades nine to twelve.

Organised by Informa Life Sciences Exhibition, the Abu Dhabi Medical Congress is the region's key healthcare event bringing together leading international healthcare companies to showcase their latest products and services within the emergency, primary healthcare, patient safety, rehabilitation and dentistry sectors, as well as being a platform for scientific exchange via the accompanying multi-track conference programme dedicated to these healthcare sectors.

 






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