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Fighting Childhood Obesity Means Fighting Type 2 Diabetes


November is American Diabetes Month, a time to raise awareness of the causes, effects and symptoms of diabetes and promote research aimed at putting an end to diabetes once and for all.

Diabetes is the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States, and obesity is proven to be linked directly to Type 2 diabetes―and this is no different in children than adults. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) states that, “Increased obesity has led to a recent rise in cases of Type 2 diabetes in children and young adults,” and this statement is based on many scientific studies. Further, HealthDay notes that, “More than 80 percent of all children and adolescents with Type 2 diabetes are overweight, and about 40 percent are clinically obese.”

Juvenile Type 2 diabetes is still a fairly new issue. An article in the New York Times notes that prior to 1990, it was hardly ever seen in children. But now, according to the CDC more than 5,000 youth are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes alone each year, and more than 200,000 people under the age of 20 have been diagnosed with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.

The statistics are staggering, but it is possible to prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes with simple lifestyle changes, including maintaining a healthy weight, eating right and staying physically active.

The American Diabetes Association offers several tips to help stave off Type 2 diabetes in children including drinking more water, eating more fruits and vegetables, avoiding fast food and exercising.

In addition to tips on how to prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 Diabetes, the American Diabetes Association also offers resources to help advocates spread the word this American Diabetes Month about the disease and its prevention.

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