DR. WALLACE: I have a good part in the upcoming play. I really like acting, and my teacher says I'm very good. My problem is that my mother keeps threatening to make me quit the play whenever I do the slightest thing wrong. For example, I forgot to stop at the convenience store to buy her some ice cream and she got mad and said, "I ought to pull you out of the play for being so stupid."
I'm a nervous wreck. I would just die if she stopped me from performing. What would I do if she made me quit the play on opening night? It would be a disaster for the entire cast and the school itself. Please tell me what to do. I do my very best to please my mother, but at times, my best just isn't good enough. — Nameless, Kansas City, Mo.
NAMELESS: Tell your drama teacher what's happening at home. Ask the teacher to call your mother, or better yet, invite her to school to let her know not only that you are a talented actor, but that everyone else in the production is depending on you. It's imperative you be allowed to perform your part without threat of being pulled out over minor issues at home. Drama is an important part of your education, just as important as history, math or any other subject. Your mother must be made to understand this.
DON'T ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN TO YOU
TEENS: About 2 million young people have a condition called impaired fasting glucose, which is linked to obesity and lack of proper exercise. That puts them at risk for diabetes and cardiovascular problems, according to research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health. This may account for the dramatic rise doctors are seeing in teens suffering from adult-onset diabetes.
The researchers found that 1 in 14 teens in a nationally representative sample of young people of both sexes had the pre-diabetic condition, which is manifested by the prevalence of abnormally high blood-sugar levels after several hours without eating. Among overweight teens, 1 in 6 had the pre-diabetic condition.
Americans have diabetes, most of them adults with type 2 diabetes, which impairs the body's ability to properly use the blood sugar-relating hormone, insulin. This form of the disease is strongly linked to being overweight and inactivity.
Almost 200,000 Americans, age 19 and younger, have type 1 (juvenile-onset) diabetes, in which the body produces little or no insulin. But type 2 diabetes among those 19 and younger has increased. Dr. Francine Kaufman, head of the Diabetes Center at Children's Hospital in Los Angeles, stated that 25 percent of diabetic young people treated there have type 2 diabetes, compared with only 4 percent a decade ago.
Teens, this is an alarming statistic. You are responsible for your bodies and your lives. Remember, obesity and inactivity trigger diabetes! This is a preventable condition. Don't allow this to happen to you!
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. E-mail him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.