Too much bad food, too little exercise is leading to devastating diabetes for kids | Miami Herald
The term “adult-onset diabetes” is no longer relevant, as the numbers of kids and teens who are being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes continues to climb – at alarming rates.
Doctors attribute poor diets and lack of exercise on the sharp rise of Type 2 diabetes in youth in the U.S., especially among certain ethnic and racial groups.
“Unfortunately, this is all part of the obesity epidemic sweeping our country, which also affects younger kids,” says Dr. Pascual de Santis, an endocrinologist with Baptist Health Medical Group.
“This has to do with increased consumption of processed, and rich-in-calorie foods, as well as the significant decrease of physical activity in this population — less sports and more video games.”
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De Santis says genetics and diet are “the two hits” that often determine if someone is at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. “There are plenty of kids who are obese or overweight that do not develop diabetes,” he says. “This is true mostly in Caucasians. Most other ethnic groups are at higher risks of developing this disease.”
In South Florida, the disease is particularly prevalent within African-American and Hispanic communities.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), funded a decade-long study, which concluded in 2012, called SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth. It shows alarming figures in the rate of new diagnosed cases of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in adolescents.
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