Type 2 diabetes rise in children 'disturbing'

From BBC - August 11, 2017

More than 600 children and teenagers are being treated for type 2 diabetes in England and Wales, and the rise in cases is a "hugely disturbing trend", local councils are warning.

The figures come from a report by child health experts which found 110 more cases among under-19s in 2015-16 than two years previously.

The youngest children affected are aged between five and nine.

Council leaders said urgent action on childhood obesity was needed.

The Local Government Association, which represents councils in England and Wales, added that government cuts to public health budgets had affected their ability to tackle the issue.

Why are children getting type 2 diabetes?

Being overweight is the biggest risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes, and three-quarters of these children were obese.

With child obesity rates in England rising - but now by a smaller amount than they have been - it's no surprise more children are being treated for the condition.

In primary schools in England, one in 10 children in Reception and one in five children in year 6 were classified as obese in 2015-16.

Type 2 diabetes in children is a serious condition which can lead to long-term health complications such as heart disease, kidney failure and blindness.

Who are they?

Children from Asian and black ethnic backgrounds were particularly affected, and children who lived in deprived areas were more likely to have type 2.

There were twice as many girls than boys with the condition and most of the cases were among 15-19 year olds.

Across all children and teenagers, numbers are on the rise - from 507 cases in 2013-14 and 543 in 2014-15 to the current tally of 621.

But there could be more who are undiagnosed, the report said - these are only the ones being treated by paediatric specialists around the country.

What should parents do?

What do experts say?

What is the government's plan?


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