Kids With Type 2

"The SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth multicenter study, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has determined that
based on data from 2002 to 2003, a total of 15,000 youth in the United States were newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes each year. In addition, about 3,700 youth were newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes each year.
non-Hispanic white youth had the highest rate of new cases of type 1 diabetes.
type 2 diabetes was rarely diagnosed among youth younger than 10 years of age."

I am sure those numbers have increased by now. I was not surprised to see the yearly number of type 1 kids, but the yearly number of type 2 kids seems alarming to me. I do not remember seeing any overweight kids when I was in elementary school, grades 1-7 (1945-1952). I remember only one overweight kid in high school (1952-1957). My sons knew several overweight kids when they were in school (1972-1988). I imagine there are many more overweight kids in grades K-12 now. Is it mostly due to the change in ways parents are feeding their kids? Is it the additives being put in foods now? Are there other explanations for this?

There are tons of explanations for it. I can't pinpoint just one reason. The world has changed in the last 50 years, but (for most of us) our eating habits never changed to coincide with our new lifestyle.

I've said it before, but I'll say it again (just for effect): Being healthy isn't about being thin. It's about how you treat your body. You can be overweight and be perfectly healthy. In fact, recent studies are showing those who are overweight are healthier than those who are at a "healthy" weight for height or less. 

I don't think we can blame food or parenting or computers. The world is constantly evolving. Our bodies are a lot slower at catching up to the changing times.


I remember when I was in elementary school (late 70's) there was one overweight child in my class. Poor kid was picked on mercilessly. I recently went on a field trip with my daughter and probably 20-30% of the kids there were overweight. In my opinion it's a combination of too much fast food, video games, and inactivity. I come from a family where weight has always been an issue. I've always been relatively thin (though I'm on the verge these days), but on both my husband and my sides, most relatives have weight issues. So our rule for the kids was always that they had to be involved in some physical sport, and we didn't let them lounge in front of the television or video games all day.

Last time we went to Disneyland we observed a mother and a little boy who was probably four years old. The mother was screaming at him to finish his hotdog and chips. He was crying because he wasn't hungry but eating because she was forcing him to. The poor little kid was probably 80+ pounds, literally twice the size (or more) of an average four year old. That's just child abuse and that poor kid will probably have food issues all his life.

I'm actually surprised that there are "only" 3700 new type 2 cases in kids. I guess maybe it just takes a lot of years to damage your body to that point unless you're really abusing it? So sad though because I would guess most of these kids already lead an unhealthy lifestyle which is a reflection of their upbringing. Is anyone going to be there for these kids to steer them in the right direction? If not, what do they have to look forward to? At least most of the type 1 parents I know are actively making sure their kids eat right, exercise, and develop healthy living skills.