A definite link to diabetes
For the past decade, pediatricians have noticed an upswing in the number of young patients presenting with type 2, or adult-onset, diabetes—a diagnosis almost unheard of in children until recently. Now the anecdotal evidence has been quantified and linked to the rise in childhood obesity. In an article published in March in The New England Journal of Medicine, Yale pediatric endocrinologist Sonia Caprio, M.D., and colleagues reported that of 167 severely obese children and adolescents a quarter of the children and 21 percent of the adolescents exhibited glucose intolerance, an indicator of diabetes. That intolerance was as prevalent among Caucasians as it was among Hispanics and African-Americans. Long-term complications of diabetes include premature atherosclerosis, early coronary artery disease, kidney disorders, eye disorders and nerve problems.