Ticking Time Bomb of Ill Health Among the Young People of America
The American Diabetes Association has published the latest data on the state of the union’s pancreatic health. Shockingly, more of the nation’s young people are suffering diabetes and pre-diabetes than ever before. There were 9% in 2000 and now there are 23% in 2008. The statistics appeared in the journal ‘Pediatrics’ and are a big worry for health professionals.
Rise of Type 2 Diabetes
The cure for this modern disease is lots more exercise for all our kids. It is the only way to get ahead of this explosion of ill-health. 9 out of 10 of the diabetes cases of are of ‘type 2’. This is where the pancreas does not make enough of the hormone known as insulin.
Insulin is vital for health, because its role is to help take glucose in the blood into cells where it is converted into energy. When sugar does not convert to energy, it accumulates in the blood instead, causing damage to nerves and blood vessels. The consequences over time for the affected body can be severe. Including heart attack, kidney failure, poor eyesight even blindness, nerve damage and amputations.
The researchers that produced the new results analyzed the health information from over 3,400 young people aged from 12 to 19. The health information was taken from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and was centered on blood pressure measurements and crucially blood sugar levels after short periods of fasting. The use of this data may well be part of the explanation for the dramatic increase in diabetes numbers.
[box type="note"]It is a snapshot in time look, at glucose levels and many medics prefer to use the hemoglobin A1C test which gives an average over time picture.[/box]
Obesity in American Teenagers
1 in 2 of the overweight teens and 2 in 3 of the obese group had one or more of the risk factors for heart disease. These risk factors are such conditions as diabetes, high blood pressure and high levels of the harmful kind of cholesterol. To put the health issues in perspective, 1 in three normal weight, youths have 1 of the risk factors. If the risk factors are there in our teenage years they almost inevitably persist into maturity. The big concern is the ticking bomb of ill-health facing the nation in the coming two decades.
However, no matter which test is used for blood sugar levels, there is a crisis of health in the making among America’s youth. 1 in 3 of our future working generation are either overweight or obese, which is a pre determinant of high blood pressure, type two diabetes and all the consequent health conditions.
The Diabesity Epidemic
[box type="important"]Other studies have predicted a 64% leap in diabetes sufferers in the current decade. This is even higher than the expected increase in obesity. The fallout from the diabetes epidemic will put an enormous strain on the US health provision system.[/box]