Type 2 diabetes is no longer a problem of the old. Once called ‘adult-onset diabetes,’ the condition is becoming increasingly more common amongst children, according to new information from the United States.
Figures indicate that just under 40,000 adolescents in America currently have type 2 diabetes. Almost all of these cases are thought to be linked to obesity. Perhaps more shockingly, it is estimated that over 2,700,000 have blood sugar levels that could lead to diabetes and further health problems. This figure represents an enormous future healthcare burden.
The new report, which is published in the May issue of the Archives of Pediatrics &Adolescent Medicine, was conducted by expert researchers at the Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington. One expert was reported as saying: “steps to prevent and treat the substantial number of adolescents who have impaired fasting glucose from developing type 2 diabetes are required now. These steps are well known and well established preventative measures – namely to increase daily physical activity levels and improve Nutrition, and to avoid excess body weight.”
When compared with the overall USA figure of around 21 million diabetics, the numbers are surprisingly large. Impaired fasting glucose was perceived as being a major problem amongst adolescents in the US. The same expert reportedly said: “there is the potential for a large number of adolescents who currently have impaired fasting glucose to develop type 2 diabetes in early adulthood. This is based on the high rate of conversion from impaired fasting glucose to type 2 diabetes seen in adults.”
A major public health program is required to stem the tide, a prominent doctor responded. Diet and exercise, awareness and prevention; all of these factors are more crucial to the future of the diabetes problem than ever before.

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