Threat Of Type 2 Diabetes in Children

Obese Toddler Diagnosed With Lifestyle Related Diabetes

It is shocking to hear in the media today that our children, the future generation are at threat of developing what was considered a midlife disease in type 2 diabetes.

An obese toddler from the US who weighs the same as an average 11-year-old has been diagnosed with lifestyle-related diabetes.

The three-year-old girl is one of the youngest people ever to have the type-2 form of the condition, according to her doctor.

Dr Michael Yafi, from Houston in Texas, said that when he made the diagnosis the anonymous girl tipped the scales at 35kg (5st 7lb).The family had “poor nutritional habits, with uncontrolled counting of calories and fat”. Both parents were obese, but there was no family history of diabetes. Her parents were told to control her food portion sizes, count calories and increase the amount of exercise she did plus she was given the drug metformin to bring her blood sugar under control.

Six months later the girl had lost 9kg (1st 7lb) and her blood sugar levels were within the healthy range.

Dr Yafi said the growing obesity epidemic meant doctors should be alert to lifestyle-related diabetes even in young children. “Reversal of type-2 diabetes in children is possible by early screening of obese children, early diagnosis, appropriate therapy and lifestyle modification,” he said.

Fifteen years ago it was rare even for an adolescent to have type 2 diabetes as it was thought to be a mid-life disease. This highlights how important it is that children get a healthy start to life, which includes a healthy diet and regular exercise.

The obesity epidemic and childhood obesity has now taken over as the biggest health challenge of our time.