II Diabetes Rising in Kids
II diabetes, often called adult-onset diabetes, appears to be
striking more and more children.
Several hospitals have reported
soaring numbers of pediatric patients with type II diabetes in
the past few years. Tallahassee Memorial Hospital's Diabetes Center,
which serves patients from Florida, Georgia and Alabama, says
type II cases among children have tripled in the past three years.
The U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention recommended last fall that people as young
as 25 should be screened for type II diabetes. For decades, the
common perception was that type II diabetes struck only middle-aged,
overweight people. Doctors point out that increasing numbers of
children are obese, which may explain why more kids are being
diagnosed with type II diabetes.
"With the epidemic of obesity
or overweight individuals, which has affected all areas of the
U.S., we are seeing more diabetes in general," states Dr. Luigi
Meneghini, director of the diabetes clinic at the University of
Type 1 diabetes normally affects
children and is easier to diagnose than type II, which can go
unnoticed for years. Type 1 is a more serious form of the disease
in which patients are dependent on insulin injections. Type II
is non-insulin-dependentand less serious, and patients do not
need regular insulin injections. Nine out of 10 of the 16 million
diabetes cases in the United States are type II.
Children need to participate
more in physical activity programs in schools and community centres
to curve this trend. Part of the problem stems from the many junk
foods children eat and drink, such as candy and soda pop. More
emphasis needs to be placed on healthy food choices such as complex
carbohydrates and veggies so that children grow accustomed to
eating properly as they grow into adolescence.
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