Nearly 25% of Teens Have Diabetes
Diabetes, prediabetes rates in teens take big jump: study
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2012 4:31 PM CDT
Judith Garcia, 19, fills a syringe as she prepares to give herself an injection of insulin at her home in the Los Angeles suburb of Commerce, Calif., Sunday, April 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

(Newser) – Turns out the kids aren't alright: Some 23% of American teenagers have diabetes or prediabetes; 10 years ago, that number was 9%, a new study says. Researchers stumbled on the find while analyzing data on nearly 3,400 adolescents, trying to explain their susceptibility to cardiovascular disease. Teen rates of high cholesterol, hypertension, and obesity were all about the same—but the diabetes numbers jumped out, the Washington Post reports.

The study found a steady rise since 1999, but didn't break down the diabetes data—between Type 1 and Type 2, say, or degrees of severity. The authors do make a suggestion, however: diabetes screenings for kids 10 and up who are overweight or have other risk factors. “These numbers are very high," said CDC researcher Ashleigh May, one of the authors. "I think parents have the opportunity to encourage their children to engage in healthy lifestyles." (See how hard Type 2 diabetes is on overweight teens.)

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Showing 3 of 6 comments
user99
May 22, 2012 12:37 AM CDT
Pizza isn't a vegetable.
dawnarun
May 21, 2012 9:43 PM CDT
Within the past year or two I recall reading an article on here about research showing that the early stages of type 2 diabetes could be reversed if the patient adopted a vegan diet for x amount of time, and then from there, changed their lifestyle to prevent from relapsing. If these numbers are accurate, it might be a good time tailor that research into a treatment plan for people who need it. What frustrates me most about this is that school lunches could do so much to combat this. I don't know if you've seen a school lunch lately, but they're pretty awful for promoting healthy living. I went to high school between 2000 and 2004, and they served pizza and hamburgers everyday, with some alternative, mysterious lunch option that few of the students ever got. If kids could get one healthy meal a day from schools, that would be a big improvement, and for kids from low-income families who also eat breakfast at school, the impact is even bigger. I've talked to friends who did high school exchange programs in other countries and the lunches served in Germany, Japan, and France at least sound absolutely amazing in comparison. Why is it so hard for a nation such as ours to serve our kids palatable, nutritious food?
atbov2
May 21, 2012 8:56 PM CDT
This is extremely troubling news. That's 25% of the future population of adults with diabetes, now. Where some of us will develop diabetes over time and won't have symptoms until we're much older, these kids are going to have health problems their entire lives. If we don't get a handle on the health of young people and, well, everyone for that matter, or frickin' offer a public option already, this is going to be a healthcare disaster.