The United States has become something of an advanced model for diabetes in society. Type 2 diabetes, a condition that once only affected adults (to the extent that it is widely known as adult-onset diabetes) has started to appear in children in American, some of them as young as 13. A new study aimed to assess the risk factors for type 2 diabetes amongst children.
The study focused on 1,740 children in the eight grade at 12 US schools. Shockingly, half were overweight or significantly close to being overweight. Excess body fat and obesity are major risk factors in the development of type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, 41 per cent of children had elevated blood sugar, and 36 per cent had high insulin levels. Both of these factors are considered as indicators of increased glucose tolerance.
The study, conducted by the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles and published in the journal Diabetes Care, highlights the emerging risk of diabetes amongst the young American population. Although few children had actually developed type 2, the level of risk factors was alarming.
Hispanic and Native American children were found to be most prone to developing diabetes, and these children had the highest blood sugar levels. Now, more than ever before, America needs a comprehensive and ethnically sensitive prevention program.

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