Here’s something to chew on: why is diabetes on the rise in kids? And before you say bad school lunches or inactivity, consider the fact that in this case, we’re talking about Type 1 diabetes, which is an autoimmune disorder, as well as type 2, more often associated with obesity.
Both types of diabetes on The rise
A study in the Journal of the American medical Association published in May of 2014 noted that between 2001 and 2009, the incidence of Type 1 diabetes in kids rose 21 percent, while the incidence of Type 2 (often but not always associated with obesity) rose 30 percent. Researchers don’t know yet why BOTH types of diabetes are rising in youth, although genetics are thought to play a role.
Blood glucose improving despite rise in diabetes
Meanwhile, another study in the Annals of Internal Medicine (April 2014), found that while diabetes is rising, blood sugar control is improving. Between 2005 and 2010, 9.3 percent of the US had diabetes, up from 5.5 percent a decade before. But A1C levels ( a measure of blood glucose control, and to some degree, self discipline), have improved. The number of diabetic patients with healthy blood glucose levels rose 7 percent over the last five years covered in the study, and the number of people unaware they had diabetes dropped 5 percent.
Blaming behavior is too simplistic
One thing is clear: it’s a lot more complicated than we thought. We have to dissociate the idea of increasing diabetes incidence with an increasing lack of self control. Such judgments, it turns out, simply aren’t evidence based, and they do more damage than good.
For more information on the differences between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, refer to this article from the Mayo Clinic.