I’m just back from the American Diabetes Association’s 72nd Annual Scientific Sessions and I'm even more concerned about our diabetes epidemic. Prior to 10 year ago you never heard about type 2 diabetes in children or prediabetes. Not so today! Stats show 1 in 3 children born in 2000 or beyond will develop type 2 diabetes. Today nearly 80 million Americans (that’s over a quarter of our population!!) have prediabetes. The TODAY multicenter NIH trial, recently in the news and headliner at ADA, is downright scary! It showed that type 2 diabetes in youngsters progresses more quickly requiring more rapid progression through oral blood glucose lowering medications and on to insulin. A major concern with type 2 in youth is that with rapid disease progression and less than ideal control, these people may develop heart, kidney and eye disease just a couple of decades later. That's the prime of these childrens' lives.
A take away message from the 2012 ADA meeting is we’ve got to continue to beat the drum about preventing overweight BEFORE type 2 diabetes. The most cost effective approach is to encourage healthy eating from the start. I believe it’s absolutely critical for parents to take a seat AS the head of the table and serve up tough love when it comes to healthy eating.