Catching Up With ADA's National Youth Advocate
The American Diabetes Association's 2010 National Youth Advocate, Amy Johnson, 18, of Kansas City, Mo., speaks with and advocates for young people with diabetes everywhere from ADA Diabetes Camps to Capitol Hill. You can keep up with Amy's efforts by visiting her blog at diabetes.org/nya. Here are excerpts from Amy's first blog post.
"I just returned from the ADA headquarters in Alexandria, Va., where I was briefed on the many different aspects of the Association's branches and how my role would begin to fit into them. . . . I also spent a day on the Hill talking with legislative staff . . . and [began] to form working relationships on which I can build in the future. It is these working partnerships which will allow the ADA and me to further our goals in keeping legislators fighting for what the public needs—diabetes prevention and research to improve our quality of life and cut costs both now and in the future!
"A pressing issue which caught my attention was menu labeling. ADA has been working hard with restaurant chains to mandate posting nutritional information (or at least having it available upon request) where the public can view it. However, it still frustrates me to see a huge lack of nutrition information where it should be posted the most—airports, cafeterias, and schools. . . . I am now formulating a strategy to get menu labeling first on a small scale in my school. If this is successful, I hope to spread it across my school district and perhaps lobby for menu information to be posted at more cafeterias across the area. I encourage anyone to do the same—all it takes is a few questions and a bit of courage!"