Diabetes is the seventh major cause of death in the United States of America. Diabetes is a condition that arises from the inability of the body to produce insulin or to utilize it appropriately. Insulin is a hormone that is responsible for converting blood glucose into a more body friendly form called glycogen. When the body’s ability to convert glucose to glycogen is compromised there is an increase in the blood glucose levels. This is detrimental to the health of an individual because, it causes extensive damage to the blood capillaries resulting to a myriad of other diseases.
These include blindness, kidney diseases, amputation of the limbs especially the lower extremities and heart diseases (Aubert, 1995). In 2008, CDC announced that more than 23 million individuals who live in the US have been diagnosed with diabetes. This depicts a three million increase over a period of two years. In addition to this, more than fifty seven million Americans have pre diabetes. More than five million people in the United States have diabetes and they do not know it. This means that doctors often diagnose it when it is too late.
This results to the large number of deaths that arise from it (Joslin, 2008). The prevalence of diabetes among minority populations is even higher due to the social inequalities they experience when it comes to medical care. Genetical make up has also been associated with diabetes (Cheta, 1999). African Americans have a 60% higher chance when compared to Caucasians while Hispanics are the most predisposed with more than 90% increased chance. On average, Hispanics have twice the risk of developing diabetes as compared to the white population.
Native Americans and Alaskan Natives living in America had extremely alarming rates with more than 16% of the entire population suffering from diabetes. These rates are also evident in children especially teenagers. Researchers identified that in the children they assessed form 1990 to 1995; more than 30% had pre diabetes. This is mainly due to the changes in lifestyle with most American children living sedentary lives with little or no physical exercise. There is a very high correlation between obesity, diabetes, coronary diseases and hypertension among all the ages in the American population.
All effort must be therefore geared towards campaigns that will inform and create awareness among the American population especially the young so that there can be a lifestyle revolution to uproot these diseases from the society (Krasnegor, 1990). There is an increase in the efforts of the government and the health practitioners to reduce these rates especially among the younger generation. The best approach is to create awareness to the population regarding diabetes and create collective responsibility that will hopefully result to behavior change.
In addition to this the government has been putting a lot of effort to impart knowledge among the citizens on the best methods of managing diabetes (Betteridge, 2000). This study will assess the information that the youth have regarding the causes and prevention of diabetes. Statement of the Problem According to the CDC results, diabetes rates have continued to soar over the last two years. There is an increased incidence at the rate of diabetes in children. Majority of the children in America have pre diabetes, a condition that largely predisposes them to diabetes.
Regardless of the race and the social status diabetes, needs to be addressed by everyone. This social survey is therefore very timely as it seeks to find out how much information the youth have regarding to preventing and managing diabetes and how much of these strategies they are implementing on their day to day activities. In order to bring these high rates of diabetes down, it is important to assess the lifestyle of the teenage population and how much information they have regarding the control and the management of diabetes. From these findings the government can prescribe the most effective way of addressing the situation.
Objectives of the study • To assess how much information the American teenagers have regarding diabetes. • To determine whether the youth are actively participating in fighting diabetes. • To compare the information that teenagers from different races have. • To determine how much teenagers are emulating from their parents in regard to exercise and diet Research questions How many American teenagers know about the relationship between obesity, coronary diseases, hypertension and diabetes? How many Americans teenagers have been diagnosed with diabetes?
Are American teenagers aware of the causes of diabetes? Who American teenagers think as the most likely age group to have diabetes? How much correct information do American teenagers have concerning diabetes? Are American teenagers doing anything to prevent diabetes?
23 million individuals who live in the US have been diagnosed with diabetes. This depicts a three million increase over a period of two years. In addition to this, more than fifty seven million Americans have pre diabetes. More than five million people in the United States have diabetes and they do not know it.
This means that doctors often diagnose it when it is too late. This results to the large number of deaths that arise from it (AMA, 2007). Minority populations have experienced majority of these increases. Mexican populations that reside in the United States researchers have reported a sharp increase in child hood diabetes. Researchers have long blamed genetic make up for this predisposition although a recent study indicated that the high blood pressure rates in African Americans are not reflected in West Africa where they originated from. This means that lifestyle is mainly to blame for the predisposition.
Obesity is similarly higher in the Hispanic and African American populations. It is the major factor that is triggering the high rates of diabetes and high blood pressure. Research has indicated that the rates of obesity are rapidly increasing among young children and adolescents. African Americans Caucasians and Hispanics teenagers are the most predisposed to diabetes. On average, Hispanics have twice the risk of developing diabetes as compared to the white population. Native Americans and Alaskan Natives living in have also experienced high diabetes rates among their children.
This can be attributed to changes in lifestyle with most American children living sedentary lives with little or no physical exercise (Zaidi, 2007). In a study conducted in the late 1990s researchers observed that more than 20% of white girls were overweight. The percentages were even higher in the African-American and Hispanic groups with the black community soaring highest at 31%. These children had high serum cholesterol levels, were hypertensive and had type 2 diabetes at the early stages. What this translates to is that the younger generation will most likely be predominantly obese.
As a result, they are more prone to more cardiovascular diseases. These results suggested that children are becoming diabetic at earlier ages (Finucane, 2008). The changes in lifestyle have led most households to live sedentary lives. The predisposition to diabetes is primarily as a result of poor exercise and high caloric intake. A study on the lifestyle trends of the Hispanic population concluded that of the population that was interviewed more than three quarters participated in inadequate or no physical recreational activity. There is also the tendency for children to learn from emulating role models.
In the life of a child the role models are usually the family members. A child who comes from a home or a society where exercise is undermined and rarely done will likely also develop a passive lifestyle that will be carried over to adult life (Moran, 2004) There is familial incidence of diabetes. This means that children of diabetic parents are more likely to suffer from diabetes than those form non diabetic patients. From the CDC statistics of 2008, researchers concluded that a quarter of the population above sixty years had diabetes (Colwell, 2003).
Gestational diabetes which is prevalent in pregnant women has also been associated with the vulnerable races. In addition, a more determining factor to this is obesity with more overweight pregnant women getting it during pregnancy. Since we all learn from emulating the society, there is need to advocate for collective responsibility so as to eradicate these preventable diseases. By targeting the teenagers as the most influential and vulnerable generation the government can ensure that the future population is making better health conscious decisions. Mode of data collection I will conduct a cross sectional survey research.
I will use questionnaires in particular will use face to face interviews. Face to face interviews are effective since they will allow me to use open ended questions. They will also allow the interpretation of complex issues depending on the age of the respondent. They have also been proved to be more effective than other modes since they encourage a more participation and the interviewee learns more. They also encourage the use of visual aids in the interviews (Fowler, 1995). Self completion actively involves the respondent and motivates them to complete as opposed to the other modes.
Questionnaires allow the researcher to use longer survey instruments making the research more intensive than the other types of data collection. Respondents have shown a better liking to in person interviews and are more likely to cooperate and answer honestly (Czaja & Blair, 2005). However, they are more expensive and prohibit large studies. They are also time consuming taking up a lot of time for data collection. Due to variance altering due to the design effect they require follow ups which are also expensive and time consuming.
They also require personnel who are familiar with the locality under study (Czaja & Blair, 2005). Because this study involves teenagers as the respondents, face to face interviews would be better so that their cooperation is increased. Sample frame My target population is American teenagers between the age of thirteen and eighteen. This is too large so I will use a smaller working population by restricting the study to one state and in particular one county. After seeking appropriate permission I will use administrative records from the local high schools to create a database of the available population.
To remove bias, random numbers will be assigned to each potential respondent and from these numbers random sampling will be done (Hakim, 1987). Since this is a survey research I intend to collect information from respondents themselves. Due to the financial constraints and logistics, I will target on a smaller sample size of one thousand high school students. They will include both female and male teenagers from all the representative American communities. Sampling technique My study population is American teenagers between the age of thirteen and eighteen.
This is the most appropriate age because they are making changes and choices for themselves. They are under less parental control. This is a crucial age and most pre diabetic children will be diagnosed at this stage. I intend to use a simple random sample of teenagers between the age of thirteen and nineteen attending local high schools. Random sampling has the benefit of removing bias. It is simple to design and execute and is applicable to any population. Errors of either type one or type two, occur in research. However random sampling allows the easy estimation of these errors and allows the researcher to collect unbiased information.
However random sampling is cumbersome for large estimates and highly inconvenient when large populations are being studied (Czaja & Blair, 2005). Ethical issues Since my study will involve underage children I will have to seek consent from the guardians and the relevant authorities. As with all studies that involve human beings I will have to ensure that before collection of data, permission will be sought from the respective guardians and the schools so as to obtain information regarding the teenagers. Information regarding the purpose of the study will be frankly explained to both the guardian and the teenager (Punch, 1999).
In addition the teenagers’ permission will be crucial and will be sought before the interview. Only with the consent of all involved parties will data collection take place (Vaus, 2002). The study has considered the impact of the research to the teenagers on a later date as a result all the expendable personal information has been removed from the questionnaires. This has removed the risk of exposing the child to psychological, social, financial and physical harm. The study will be conducted anonymously. Confidentiality will be upheld and will only be available to the researchers.
In addition the teenagers actual information will not be used anywhere apart from the process of randomization (Vaus, 2002). The researchers will leave the guardians and the teenagers with contact information incase there is further need for clarification even after data collection. The researcher will request for information and not offer threats or bribes in exchange of data. The refusal by any of the teams to cooperate even after due explanation will lead to exemption of the respondent (Cannell etal, 1981) At no time will the rights of the respondent be disregarded.
These are the right to privacy and the right to respect meaning that the conduct of the researcher will be professional and courteous at all times (Dijkstra etal, 1982). The information regarding the client will not be diverged. The right of the respondent to choose whether to answer and how to answer will be observed as well as the right to safety. In addition the clients’ right to be to be informed, the right to be heard and to redress will also be observed and the researcher will give all the information the respondent will enquire regarding the study.