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Type 2 Diabetes Rising in Kids and Teens

Overweight boy holding soccerballDiabetes is a national health crisis, and it’s affecting our kids.

Type 2 diabetes is becoming increasingly more common in children, says a new JAMA study presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies’ meeting in Vancouver, Canada.

The prevalence of type 2 diabetes climbed more than 30% from 2000 and 2009 to a rate of 0.46 per 1,000 kids, according to the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study, which included 3 million children and teens in different parts of the U.S.

Type 1 diabetes is also on the rise, increasing 21% from 2000 to 2009 to 1.93 for every 1,000 kids. About 167,000 kids and teens younger than 20 have the disease, while more than 20,000 have type 2, says the study author. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that’s usually diagnosed in children and occurs when the pancreas produces little or no insulin.

Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are associated with lifelong, costly treatment and increased risk of serious complications.

Type 1 can’t be prevented since doctors aren’t sure what causes it and who is at risk.

But type 2 diabetes—in which the body doesn’t use insulin properly—can be prevented.

Obesity is considered the driving force behind the rise of type 2 diabetes in children. Kids as young as four years old have been found to have blood sugar problems, says a Yale University study. Which makes it very likely that the child will have prediabetes (if he doesn’t already) and type 2 diabetes early on.

Ensuring that your child receives good nutrition, gets plenty of physical activity and maintains a healthy body weight are essential in diabetes prevention.

Additionally, you need to set a good example for your kids by staying healthy yourself.

Parents can sign up for prediabetes and diabetes screening by clicking here.

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