Prescriptions for treatment or prevention of Type 2 diabetes in children doubled over the course of four years. This finding comes in tandem with a government survey showing that an alarming number of U.S. children are overweight; excess weight is the most common cause of Type 2 diabetes.
Blindness, Limb Loss, Kidney Failure
Diabetics can experience serious additional complications such as blindness, limb amputations and kidney failure. An earlier onset of diabetes could also lead to an earlier onset of complications. The expense of treatment could put a considerable strain on the U.S. health care system.
No Longer "Adult-Onset"
Type 2 diabetes has often been called "adult-onset diabetes" because it usually develops in adults middle-aged or older. Incidence of type 2 diabetes, however, has increased at the greatest rate in recent years among teenagers aged 15 to 19 years old.
The percentage of children who are either overweight or at risk of being overweight rose to 34 percent in 2004, up from 28 percent in 2000.
In addition to the figures above, the number of type 1 diabetics prescriptions for kids rose some 26 percent and total prescriptions for diabetes meds climbed about 39 percent.
Until recently, almost all diabetes in children was type 1, previously known as juvenile diabetes.
But the explosion of type 2 diabetes prescriptions for children sadly does not come as a major surprise, considering the CDC recently estimated 2 million American teens already suffer from pre-diabetes. It is hard to believe but children that aren't even yet teenagers are now developing type 2 diabetes, whose nickname of "adult-onset diabetes" is becoming less and less accurate.
We are clearly in the midst of an obesity epidemic in American children.
Fortunately, there is a solution as nearly all of these kids developing type 2 diabetes can be completely "cured." Some years ago, one of the most respected medical journals, The New England Journal of Medicine, proclaimed that in fact one can "cure" type 2 diabetes with diet and exercise.
The keys to preventing type 2 diabetes are simple lifestyle changes that anyone can make. No one needs to suffer from this disease. If you are a parent, I encourage you to get involved in your children's lives to help them make these changes, and also to lead by example.
It is literally a life and death situation for many of these children. It is hard to imagine them living much beyond 40 or 50 years without developing diabetic complications that result in
The Total Health Program is designed to not only treat but prevent diabetes. There are also tools on this site to help you and your family beat diabetes. Here's a simple, three-step plan to help you (or your children) gain better control over diabetes if you have it, and protect you from it if you don't: