Engrossed in an article, whose content I will delve into in a minute, I sat reading, fixated on the page, completely oblivious to where I was, which was namely on a subway train home. Someone could have easily lifted my purse out of my arms, my umbrella out of my hand, and possibly even my shoes off my feet. Thank goodness I realized my error immediately, and got off at the stop following mine. As I stepped off the train, my papers fell to the ground, so as I scrambled to pick them up, I watched the doors of the train that would have taken me back home close. This led to another 10 minutes of waiting, but I didn’t dare continue reading my article. Now you are going to think I am the most boring girl on earth, but the title of this enrapturing work was “National Diabetes Statistics, 2007“. I suppose what had really shocked me, thus leading me to forget myself, was that fact that type 2 diabetes among youth (<20 years of age) is 5.3 cases per 100,000. This may seem like a small number, but we are talking about type 2 diabetes, which in the past only affected older adults and was virtually non-existent in children and youth 20 years ago.
In my professional, responsible life, I work as part of a diabetes prevention project team, where we are focussing on seniors. This is still the group where we see the highest number of new diabetes cases, but the exponential growth of diabetes incidence in youth cannot be overlooked at this point in time. What are the major risk factors for type 2 diabetes in children and youth: obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and lack of fruits and vegetables in the diet. I might guess what you are thinking right now: it is all preventable. What you may also want to consider is that science has known this for over a decade, and industry even longer. Diabetes Epidemic In Youth