Valley Public Radio: Fresno teen finds hope in diagnosis

When Victor Ycong was diagnosed with diabetes, he thought his life was over. At 6-foot-1 and 228 pounds, the 15-year-old Fresno teenager was already at risk for a slew of diseases associated with being obese. But, he says, his diabetes diagnosis saved him. Now, he exercises and eats better. Listen to the first of two stories about childhood obesity in Fresno County, where 36 percent of adolescents, ages 12 to 17, are overweight or obese. Statewide, that number is about 29 percent.

On measuring obesity, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: A child's weight status is determined using an age- and sex-specific percentile for Body Mass Index (BMI) rather than the BMI categories used for adults because children's body composition varies as they age and varies between boys and girls. Click here for the child and teen BMI Percentile CalculatorClick here for the adult BMI calculator.

Statistics for this story come from the UCLA California Health Interview Survey.

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Lauren M. Whaley

Freelance journalist Lauren M. Whaley is a photographer, radio producer and print reporter specializing in topics related to mental illness, reproductive health care and health disparities. She is also a childbirth photographer.This year, She is working on a series about how low-income parents access care for perinatal mental illnesses. The project is funded in part by the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism.She was a 2016-17 Knight Science Journalism Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology.Her work has been recognized by the Association of Health Care Journalists, the Scripps Howard Foundation and the Public Radio Exchange (PRX) STEM story project. She has contributed radio, video, photography and written stories to KQED Public Radio, Southern California Public Radio, the San Jose Mercury News, the New York Times and other media outlets. For six years, she worked as the Center for Health Reporting's multimedia journalist. She is a past president of the national organizationJournalism and Women Symposium (JAWS) and spent her early 20s leading canoe expeditions for young women, including a solo-led 45-trip in the Canadian Arctic. She is based in Los Angeles.

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