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Why are more children being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes?

Dr. Andrea Pennington, MD
Integrative Medicine Specialist
As you've undoubtedly learned, type 2 diabetes is a condition that is caused by a lack of physical activity, overweight and unhealthy eating. Previously, it was called adult onset diabetes because it usually occurred in people over 40. The age of onset has been decreasing steadily over the past 30 years. Now we have children as young as 8 years old being diagnosed with this deadly condition. Sadly, these kids will have a shortened lifespan -- by 8 to 12 years!

How did we get so out of control? This is a multifactorial problem with the loss of in-school physical education, after-school sports, latchkey children going to empty homes and staying indoors playing video games, watching TV and surfing the Internet. Of course, when both parents are working outside of the home, the usual complaint is that there is no time to prepare healthy meals, our children are picky and don't want to eat veggies, and it costs too much to eat healthy anyway.

Clearly this is a challenge to address during a recession, but since the family is the cornerstone for health and well-being, I feel that the family at home is the place that healing our children should start.

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