One In Five Children Now At Risk For Type 2 Diabetes, Study Finds

mbg Editorial Assistant By Abby Moore
mbg Editorial Assistant
Abby Moore is an Editorial Assistant at mindbodygreen. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from The University of Texas at Austin and has previously written for Tribeza magazine.

Image by Liliya Rodnikova

Peeling children away from screens and convincing them to eat their greens could be the subject matter of a modern Dr. Seuss book. As playful as the rhyme may sound, though, the requests are much more serious. According to a recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, many children are at risk of developing chronic health conditions from prediabetes.

A study published in JAMA Pediatrics revealed that one in five children (aged 12 to 18) and one in four young adults (aged 19 to 34) are now prediabetic. This rise in prediabetes in children puts them at risk for type 2 diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and cardiovascular conditions later in life. 

Researchers analyzed data from 5,786 adolescents and young adults between 2005 and 2016. Prediabetic tests look for a number of things, including impaired fasting glucose, impaired glucose tolerance, and a specified amount of hemoglobin A1C, according to the American Diabetes Association.

In simpler terms, a patient's blood sugar levels must be high enough to be concerning but not high enough to meet the criteria for a type 2 diagnosis. 

The results revealed a higher rate of prediabetic young males than females and a greater risk for children than young adults. As with adults with type 2 diabetes, prediabetes was more prevalent in children and young adults with obesity.

According to a recent report, the number of young people with prediabetes is higher than in previous years. This research comes around the same time as another concerning study produced by the World Health Organization, which revealed that children worldwide are not meeting their physical fitness criteria.

These two studies reveal the urgency of proper diet and exercise and the promotion of physical activity for younger generations. Implementing early intervention strategies can reverse the current and negative trends in children's health. 

If you're looking for ways to encourage healthy habits in your kids, try these simple exercises, which can be done in just 10 minutes, and this trick that might actually make them excited to eat nutritious food.

Ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? Join our 5-Day Inflammation Video Summit with mindbodygreen’s top doctors.

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