Camp Power Up addresses youth at risk for Type 2 diabetes

San Antonio, TX– Starting this week, a group of children at risk for Type 2 diabetes will attend Camp Power Up with fun activities, field trips and wellness education to help them learn ways to live a healthy lifestyle and beat the odds of a diabetes diagnosis.

Organized by the American Diabetes Association with presenting sponsor Children’s Health at University Health System, Camp Power Up is a day camp between July 27-31 at the Westside YMCA at 2900 Ruiz St. Organizers have enrolled 50 children between the ages of 10 and 14 with multiple risk factors for Type 2 diabetes by working with local pediatricians.

“One in 3 children in San Antonio is overweight or obese, a major risk factor for Type 2 Diabetes,” said Dr. Maria S. Rayas, Camp Power Up medical director and a pediatric endocrinologist for UT Kids. “With the prediction that 1 in 3 adults in the United States will have diabetes by 2050, it is imperative that we invest in preventing Type 2 diabetes in our children.”

See an interview with Dr. Rayas on Fox 29’s Daytime at Nine program here.

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Formerly known as adult-onset diabetes, Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes that affects how the body processes blood sugar. It typically manifests in adulthood but is increasingly occurring in children as well, with symptoms such as frequent urination, hunger fatigue and blurred vision. Type 2 diabetes is often treated with a healthy diet, exercise, medication and/or insulin therapy. Diabetes is a leading cause of heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and amputation in adults.

A goal of Camp Power Up is to help area youth break the cycle before the onset of Type 2 diabetes in adulthood. Participants are ages 10 to 14 with obesity and a family history of Type 2 diabetes. Other contributing factors include hypertension diagnosis, elevated Hemoglobin A1C, or having a close relative with Type 2 diabetes.

“We really wanted to help children and their families to recognize at an early age how to manage risk factors,” said Elizabeth Tobias, senior executive director of the American Diabetes Association South Texas Area. “If we can give more children the tools and inspiration early on, they will be better equipped to avoid health consequences in adulthood and live longer, healthier lives.”

Through a blend of activities and wellness education, the camp emphasizes key ways for children to begin and maintain healthy habits in order to prevent them from receiving a diabetes diagnosis.

“Utilizing fun, educational games and field trips, Camp Power Up aims to provide at-risk children in our community with the knowledge that healthy living and physical activity can prevent Type 2 Diabetes,” added Rayas.

For more information about Camp Power Up or diabetes prevention or management, contact the American Diabetes Association at 210-829-1765, ext. 6129, or


About Camp PowerUp

Camp Power Up is a day camp that helps children Power Up for a healthy life. It is organized by the American Diabetes Association with presenting sponsor Children’s Health at University Health System and supporting collaborative partners, UT Kids, H-E-B, Community First Health Plans, Westside YMCA, University of Incarnate Word Graduate Nutrition Program, San Antonio Food Bank, Octane Athletic Performance, and Our Lady of the Lake University Bachelor of Social Work Program. The Camp is a great blend of fun activities and wellness education to help them learn about diabetes and diabetes prevention. Family education will be available at the conclusion of each day for full family engagement. Snacks and lunch are provided.

About the American Diabetes Association

The American Diabetes Association celebrates 75 years in leading the fight against the deadly consequences of diabetes 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 to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.



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