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[May 5, 2006]


Studies show disturbing trends in the health of American teenagers. Rates of childhood obesity and diabetes, for example, continue to rise. SUNY Downstate Medical Center is making adolescent health a priority by addressing health topics and issues on Thursday, May 11 in a special youth conference.
In partnership with Medgar Evers College and New World Creation Ministries, Inc., SUNY Downstate will present “Breakin’ Off the Chain on Adolescent Health Issues,” a symposium organized to discuss current health trends among young adults. The event will be held at Medgar Evers College at 1650 Bedford Avenue from 4-9 p.m.  Admission is free but registration is required due to limited space.  Parental consent forms are also required for youths between the ages of 13-17. 
This is the fourth symposium in SUNY Downstate’s “Dine & Learn Health Symposium”series.  Panel discussions and lectures will focus on obesity, diabetes, depression, HIV/AIDS, and other health concerns affecting young people.
The message SUNY Downstate wants to convey to teenagers is that youth does not guarantee them immunity from disease and health problems.  Young people should walk away thinking about their current lifestyle choices and how these patterns of behavior put them at risk for developing chronic and fatal diseases in adulthood.
“As the only academic medical center in Brooklyn, we have a responsibility not only to heal but to educate and empower today’s youth to make better lifestyle choices,” said symposium organizer Karen Jemmott, director of Physician Outreach at SUNY Downstate.
Attendees will be treated to dinner and health screening, and exhibitions will also be available.  A sneaker contest, hip-hop entertainment, and prize giveaways are scheduled for the event. 
SUNY Downstate Medical Center is the only academic medical center in Brooklyn, serving more than 2 million people within the borough.  SUNY Downstate is located at 450 Clarkson Avenue.