years. Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in children and adolescents; about
151,000 people below the age of 20 years have diabetes (CDC, 2009). There has been an
increase in the amount of younger people, including teenagers that have been diagnosed with
type 2 diabetes. According to the CDC website, type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents,
although still rare, is being diagnosed more frequently, particularly in American Indians, African
Americans, and Latino Americans. Type 2 diabetes is rising in American kids, especially African
Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans. Children are at risk if they are overweight or have a
family history of diabetes. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for 1999-2000
estimated the percentage of children and adolescents in the United States who are overweight or
obese is over 15%, which in return in contributing to the epidemic. Being overweight in early
adolescence may put children at risk for developing heart and blood vessel disease and type 2
diabetes even before they become teenagers (Messiah, 2008). Based on 2002–2003 data, about
3,700 youth were newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes annually (CDC, 2007).
When diabetes occurs during childhood, it is assumed to be type 1 diabetes. This is
usually considered the norm in children and adolescents. The epidemic of obesity, low level of
physical activity due to video games and more indoor activities among young adolescents as well
as exposure to diabetes in utero, can all be major contributors to the increase in type 2 diabetes
during childhood and adolescence. Type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents already appears
to be a growing problem among U.S. children and adolescents.
Type 2 diabetes affects different ethnic groups but it is more commonly seen in non-white
groups. American Indian youth have the... [continues]
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