Type II Diabetes: A Threat to All Our Children

Growing up healthy

Growing Up Healthy

Children's Health /

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Over the past twenty years, Type II diabetes has increased dramatically in both children and adults. That enormous increase has now been linked to childhood obesity. The lack of physical activity isn't helping either. Our kids are spending more than thirty-eight hours a week watching TV, playing video games, downloading music, or chatting with friends on computers—anything but exercising!

How does childhood obesity link to Type II diabetes? It's all about fat cells. Over weight children are not able to either produce or to utilize all the insulin they need to keep their bodies energized. Insulin must find its way inside all the cells of the body to do its work. Fat cells are the most difficult to penetrate, and an obese child has too many fat cells for insulin to work properly. To compensate, the pancreas begins to produce as much insulin as it can, but eventually the amount needed will remain inadequate and the symptoms of diabetes will appear.

In the past, this disease has typically shown up after the age of thirty. But the 2001 Obesity Statistics from the U.S. government tell us that one in four overweight children is already showing early signs of Type II diabetes, and that 60 percent of these children already have one risk factor for heart disease.

Although these new statistics are distressing, they also clarify what must be done to protect our children. We must help prevent our children from becoming obese! And if they're already obese, let's help them lose the excess fat and reverse the symptoms of Type II diabetes.

About The Author
Growing up healthy
In Growing Up Healthy, Joan Lunden, one of America's most trusted journalists and most visible working moms, teams up with Dr. Myron Winick, a leading expert in childhood nutrition, to produce a guide that contains the lifesaving knowledge we all need to shield our children from disease and help them grow into strong, fit adults.
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