The headline in The New York Times recently screamed what we had feared -- and worse. Not only is obesity among children leading to what was once only known as “adult onset” diabetes, but the kids are becoming resistant to the diabetes medicines.
It's bad news for the kids and their future. Diabetes is bad enough, as the effects limit their childhood activities, but it also sets them up for heart disease.
Can you imagine a 20-year-old having a heart attack or needing heart by-pass surgery? It’s on the horizon.
The villain in this is obesity. Americans are increasingly overweight so it’s no surprise that our kids are too.
In the 1990’s Type II diabetes was almost never seen in American children. Now there are almost 4,000 new cases in a year and the worry is that it is going up.
Don’t confuse this with Type I diabetes. That is really a different disease and one you may think of as juvenile diabetes.
Type II in children is directly linked to kids being overweight. For those who are a parent, aunt or grandmother, this is something you should have some control over.
We’d like to buy in to what our kids think -- that they are invincible. But, clearly, they are not.
Just like the price they will pay long-term for smoking, they will pay a price for unhealthy eating and too little exercise.
Diabetes can have terrible complications long-term -- the heart problems, but also circulatory ones that lead to amputation of limbs and blindness. This isn’t meant to scare you, but rather to reinforce the importance of helping children avoid obesity and, in turn, the prospect of diabetes.
If you would like more information about obesity in children and diabetes, I encourage you to visit the Childhood Obesity Health Center on Patient Power. I have interviewed several experts on this subject including a pediatrician, an exercise authority and a nutritionist.
The link is http://www.patientpower.info/health-topic/childhood-obesity/
I am sure you’ll find their guidance helpful for your own family. It can take some work, but, given the downside of diabetes in children, it is worth it.
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