This article is very interesting because it offers some perspective on the degree to which our children and adolescents have succumbed to a disease that can ravage the body while presenting very few symptoms in early stages: type 2 diabetes. The article cites Centers for Disease Control (CDC) research that shows a significant increase in teen diabetes and pre-diabetes from 1999 to 2008. The primary cause, as with adults is excess weight and obesity. Indeed, childhood obesity is rising at a faster pace than that of adults and the problems are not going away. The article highlights the need for a renewed push to save our teens from problems that should never plague them in the first place.
More on this topic from NPR: A Dire Sign Of The Obesity Epidemic: Teen Diabetes Soaring, Study Finds : Shots – Health Blog : NPR
Our take: Childhood obesity is nothing new and while children’s bodies are better able to withstand many of the ailments that accompany obesity, there is a limit. As children become more and more obese they will begin to develop the very same comorbidities as obese adults. Each of these comorbidities can cause serious damage to the body if left unchecked and untreated. The result, as we are seeing, will be even younger diabetes patients and shortened lifespans with a poor quality of life. Childhood obesity in the United States is an epidemic that we have never seen before.