Diabetes Cases Among Teens Skyrocketing, Says Study [AUDIO]
The numbers are staggering. One in four 12 to 19 year olds in the United States are on their way to developing diabetes.
"We've got an avalanche of illness that's headed our way if all these kids become diabetic that much sooner. If those statistics remain true, we're going to be in deep trouble because we're going to be dealing with cardiovascular disease, kidney disease and neurological disorders. Obesity, which is often the cause of type 2 diabetes, carries with it increased risk of cancer as well," said Dr. Joseph Giangola, Medical Director of the Diabetes Team at Hackensack University Medical Center.
"We have to get our kids moving. They call it physical education for a reason. Education is the second part of that term and many schools got rid of it which I think was a big mistake because kids are not being encouraged to be active," said Giangola. "They don't do any regular exercise and are not involved in organized sports."
Of the two types of diabetes, type 2 accounts for more than 90 percent of cases. In people with diabetes, the body doesn't make enough of the homone insulin or doesn't use it properly. Giangola believes the proper habits start at home. "Make the good food available there in the house. Don't keep junk food around, don't keep snack foods. Keep healthier food around. Keep fruit around," he said. "Driving around my town whenever I pass the high school, I see all these kids sitting outside talking on their cell phones. They aren't moving. They aren't doing anything. They're just sitting down, being sedentary and talking. I think that's one of the biggest problems and we, as parents, need to change that."
"It's important to encourage physical activity," said Giangola. "Get your children involved in organized sports. Set a good example by eating correctly and exercising yourself. Kids tend to follow in their parents footsteps. If we're doing the right thing, chances are, they will too."