The number of children and teens diagnosed with type 2 diabetes has increased by 5 percent every year between 2002 and 2012.  You have read and heard about the recent opioid addiction and cancer, but the greatest threat to our youth is diabetes. This disease takes away years of life and includes a poor quality of life for many. This information is coming out of a recent national study from Wake Forest University.  But this information also comes from the CDC, recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine. We need to open our eyes that this disease dooms millions of Americans to an early death and costs over 200 billion dollars a year.  The percentage of children who are obese has more than tripled over the past half-century, which is also responsible for the increase in diabetes. More than 70 percent of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes as children or teens suffer from at least one diabetes-related complication, which can include death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates one in three Americans will have diabetes by 2050. The irony is that we know it is preventable.

We also know that our efforts to stop young people from contracting this disease have failed and we need a new approach. What we have seen in studies is that the best approach is one that is personal and manages diabetes on a person-by-person basis with rigorous, extensive, and individually targeted education programs.  If a child does not know what a carbohydrate is, they will be doomed to failure and an early death.  Type 2 diabetes is all about educating our youth to prevent this coming epidemic.

Reference: Incidence Trends of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes among Youths, 2002-2012(link is external), published in the New England Journal of Medicine.