The November issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition carries results of a study examining the incidences of diabetes in Hispanic-American children.
The research, carried out by the University of Southern California, concluded that overweight Hispanic-American children who eat unhealthily are showing signs of pancreatic beta cell decline.
The research team studied 63 overweight Hispanic kids, aged between 9 and 13, none of whom were suffering from diabetes. The children’s eating habits were analysed, and blood samples were taken before and after sugar consumption. Those children who ate more sugar, more often, were found to have deficient beta cells. Once beta cells cease to function correctly, insulin is produced less, and blood sugar becomes unstable. The study also highlighted some of the root causes of the children absorbing too much sugar: 40% of sugar came from soda and sweetened juice.
The same USC team had previously found that Hispanic children had more propensity to be insulin-resistant than white children. Genetically, Hispanic children appear to be at risk from metabolic problems.
This study comes at a time when diabetes and pre-diabetes are sweeping the globe. In this instance, unhealthy diets are affecting the young generation to dangerous extremes. Simple dietary changes are essential to reduce the risk of diabetes.

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