Never before in human history have we seen "adult onset" or Type 2 diabetes in children. There has been a more than 1,000 percent increase in Type 2 diabetes in children over the last two decades. (1) Fifteen years ago 3 percent of new cases of diabetes in children were Type 2 diabetes. Now it is 50 percent. (2) Forty percent of children are now overweight and 2 million are morbidly obese, exceeding the 99th percentile for weight. (3)
Scientists say that we have only 3,600 cases of Type 2 diabetes in children. (4) Nonsense. Almost all of those 2 million morbidly-obese kids have either pre-diabetes or diabetes or what we should call "diabesity." In adults, 25 percent of diabetics and 90 percent of pre-diabetics are not diagnosed. In children, most of the cases are missed. (5)
A study published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine found that medications don't work and general lifestyle instruction isn't much help either to treat Type 2 diabetes in children. And the disease is more rapidly progressive and aggressive in children. Kids who haven't even learned to swallow a pill are now facing giving themselves daily insulin injections. Poor and minority kids are more heavily afflicted.
Do we really think we can medicate our way out of a bad diet? Can we really overcome the 54 gallons of soda consumed every year by the average American, or the 34 teaspoons of sugar consumed DAILY by the average child in America with a medication or some handouts on eating better? (6) One of the drugs used in the study, Avandia, has been responsible for more than 200,000 deaths from heart attacks since it was introduced in 1999. (7) The Food and Drug Administration has restricted its use. Should we be using this in children? This is pharmageddon.
Putting these little children on insulin sooner doesn't make any sense either. Starting insulin in diabetics is a slippery slope, leading to a cascade of increasing weight gain, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The sugar comes down, but everything else that kills diabetics gets worse.