NEW ORLEANS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Amerigroup Louisiana and the American Diabetes Association Louisiana & Mississippi have joined efforts to fight the increasing epidemic of type 2 diabetes in children. Amerigroup has provided a $10,000 grant to sponsor the American Diabetes Association’s Camp PowerUp! in New Orleans that will take place June 5 – 16. Camp PowerUp! is a free summer camp program in Orleans Parish for children between the ages of 9 and 14, who are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The summer camp is one of two of its kind in Louisiana, and one of 11 across the nation being offered by the American Diabetes Association to promote diabetes prevention. The camp will offer nutritional education, physical activity and social/emotional support that encourage youth to adopt healthy lifestyles. It will also focus on engaging the campers’ families to make healthy choices and to stay physically active together.
“Type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents now represents one of the most rapidly growing forms of diabetes in the country, which is very alarming,” said Dr. Raymond Poliquit, Amerigroup Louisiana medical director. “Amerigroup is passionate about educating children and helping them to become more engaged in their health, so they can thrive as adults, and we are pleased that the American Diabetes Association has brought Camp PowerUp! to New Orleans to help our children build healthier futures.”
Studies show that 1 in 3 children born after the year 2000 are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes in their lifetime, and may experience complications such as heart attack, stroke, kidney disease blindness and amputation at earlier ages. Diabetes is the fifth leading cause of death in Orleans Parish, while complications from diabetes, such as stroke and heart disease, are the leading causes of death in Orleans Parish. In the New Orleans metro area, approximately 21 percent of resident children are obese and at risk for developing diabetes; however, type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed for many years with simple lifestyle choices such as eating healthy and becoming more active.
“The American Diabetes Association thanks sponsors such as Amerigroup for helping us encourage children and their families to make small changes that can make big differences throughout their lives,” said John Guzzardo, executive director, American Diabetes Association Louisiana & Mississippi. “Early interventions are vital in addressing the diabetes epidemic that is facing our youth, and we commend Amerigroup for making these interventions accessible through Camp PowerUp!”
Camp PowerUp! will host 75 – 100 campers who have diabetes risk factors, such as obesity, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, fatty liver or polycystic ovarian syndrome, elevated glucose levels and family history of diabetes. During camp sessions, the children will be exposed to healthy meals and snacks, nutrition focused activities, physical activity, and daily discussions about self-esteem. They will participate in outdoor play, field trips and food preparation demos, and will then be invited to attend quarterly post-camp events with their families to monitor progress and reinforce learned skills.
For more information about Camp PowerUp! and other American Diabetes Association prevention efforts, visit www.diabetes.org/in-my-community/diabetes-camp/camps. For specific questions about Camp PowerUp! New Orleans, please contact the American Diabetes Association office at 504-889-0278, extension 6074.
ABOUT AMERIGROUP LOUISIANA
Amerigroup Louisiana is a managed health care provider that has been serving the state since 2012, and currently serves the state’s Medicaid, Medicaid Expansion and LaCHIP programs. Amerigroup Louisiana recognizes the challenges low-income and underserved individuals face, and tailors its programs such that health plan members are assured care that is not only accessible, but also accountable, comprehensive, integrated and patient-centered. Amerigroup Louisiana provides ongoing community relations and outreach to encourage members to become active participants in their healthcare. Also, through health education programs, members are empowered to choose and sustain healthy lifestyles. To learn more about Amerigroup, visit www.myamerigroup.com/LA.
ABOUT THE AMERICAN DIABETES ASSOCIATION
The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight against the deadly consequences of and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, our mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.