Stress, Obesity & Diabetes in Adolescence
Type 2 diabetes has emerged as a significant health issue in obese youth, especially among certain racial/ethnic groups including African-Americans and Latinos. This disparity is partially attributable to greater insulin resistance observed in these two groups (relative to non-Latino whites). Groundbreaking insulin resistance research investigates the role of the social environment, particularly psychosocial stressors in shaping racial/ethnic differences in type 2 diabetes. Chronic stress may serve as a novel biobehavioral mechanism explaining racial/ethnic differences in insulin resistance, ultimately influencing type 2 diabetes disparities. The overall goal of the proposed project is to examine the relationships between chronic stress and type 2 diabetes risk in obese African-American, Latino and non-Latino white youth. The integration of psychosocial and physiologic measures of stress may provide exciting new opportunities to clarify the complex pathways through which chronic stress may contribute to racial/ethnic differences in type 2 diabetes risk among obese minorities. This project is funded by the American Diabetes Association.