This Issue

Adolescent Health

Marching toward a healthier beat

Teen depression: More than just a bleak mood

Start young to defuse stress

Q & A

Think immunizations are just for kids? Think again.

Signs and symptoms

Some children have no symptoms of type 2 diabetes, while others may experience:

• Increased thirst

• Frequent urination

• Increased hunger but loss of weight

• Blurred vision

• Fatigue

• Frequent infections or slow-healing sores

• Tingling in hands and feet

• High blood pressure or high cholesterol

• Areas of darkened skin

Long-term planning … Stock up on healthy bone now

Need more information?

• Take Charge of Your Health!
A Teenager’s Guide to Better Health

• National Diabetes Education Program

• American Diabetes Association Planet D

So what’s to eat? You choose

So what’s to eat? You choose

There is no one eating plan that all adolescents should follow. The amount of food to meet a teen’s daily nutritional needs depends on height, weight, gender, physical activity and health status. The following estimate, based on 2,200 calories, is designed for a 16-year-old female of average height and weight who exercises 30 to 60 minutes a day. Each person should develop his or her own eating plan. Visit to get ideas and get started.

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Start young to defuse stress


“Parents can help children develop resilience by learning ways to cope with stress early on,” says Dr. M. Elyce Kearns, child psychiatrist. Try to model healthy stress-easing tactics when life runs you ragged. Encourage children to find a mix of calming choices that work for them (see bullets). Stick to sleep and mealtime routines, and keep communicating. Checking in daily about homework, plans and activities, and what happened during the day helps keep communication lines open for more difficult times.

Time out: Take a break to do anything you enjoy.

Deep breathing: Try this in a quiet spot or while walking. For five minutes, breathe in through the nose while silently counting 1-2-3-4. Breathe out through the mouth while silently counting 4-3-2-1.

Activity: Go for a run or walk, bounce around, skip rope, do jumping jacks or push-ups, shoot hoops, practice yoga or get moving any way you like.

Creative outlets: Scribble, draw, paint or try journal writing.


Long-term planning …
Stock up on healthy bone now

When you think of osteoporosis, you see visions of older women with stooped posture. But actually, you should think of teens and vitamin D and calcium. Although osteoporosis usually is manifested in older people, its groundwork is laid in youth. If children and adolescents fail to reach optimal bone mass and strength, they are more likely to develop osteoporosis. But there’s a way to “add bone to the bone bank” while you’re young.

1. Take the recommended dietary allowance of calcium and vitamin D each day.

Age Amount
9 to 18 years 1,300 milligrams (mg)
19 to 50 years 1,000 mg
vitamin D
Age Amount*
1 to 70 years 600 International Units (IU)
70+ years 800 IU







Source: Institute of Medicine (IOM)
* Although IOM recommends 600 to 800 IU of vitamin D a day, some health
providers recommended higher levels. Ask your doctor what works best for you.


Test your knowledge

Q: Which is the greatest source of calcium?

a. Collard greens
b. Low fat milk
c. Low fat yogurt
d. Sardines

Answer: All contain calcium, but yogurt contains more than 400 mg in an 8-ounce serving.
Q: Which is the greatest source of vitamin D?

a. Fortified milk
b. Sockeye salmon
c. Fortified orange juice
d. Egg

Answer: Three ounces of sockeye salmon contain almost 800 IU vitamin D. The sun is the greatest source of vitamin D, but is not strong enough in the Northeast during the winter to make a sufficient supply.
If you are unable to get the required
daily dose of calcium and vitamin D, supplements are recommended.

2. Be physically active 60 minutes a day.

• Weight-bearing exercises, like walking, jogging and even dancing, help establish and maintain strong bones.

• Include muscle strengthening activities, such as gymnastics or push-ups, at least 3 days per week as part of your child’s 60 or more minutes.

3. Maintain a healthy weight.

Too little weight and too much weight are both detrimental. A low weight can cause decreased bone density, while overweight can interfere with the body’s ability to produce vitamin D.

4. Establish healthy behaviors.

Smoking cigarettes is closely linked to not only cancer and heart disease, but to low bone density in adolescents as well. Experts also believe that high consumption of alcohol in youth is detrimental to bone health.

Take the bone health quiz