Examining Increase Of Diabetes Cases Among Children

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USA Todayin the second day of a four-day series titled "The Fight AgainstDiabetes" examined how the "nationwide trend toward more high-fat foodand less high-activity play" that has "run smack into a geneticpredisposition for diabetes" has prompted an increase in cases of type2 diabetes in children. According to USA Today, the trend"threatens to offset the benefits of improved diabetes treatment thathave led to reductions in many of the disease's deadly or disablingcomplications."

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Treatment of type 2 diabetes in children is "uncharted ground," USA Today reports. FDAhas approved insulin and metformin as treatments for type 2 diabetes inchildren. However, insulin as a first-line treatment for type 2diabetes can cause weight gain in overweight children, and metforminalone often is inadequate, according to Jane Lynch of the Texas Diabetes Institute.

Inaddition, although diet and exercise can help manage type 2 diabetes inchildren, health insurers often do not cover the cost of nutritionistsor diabetes education, and "it takes intensive education andreinforcement" to prompt behavioral changes, Lynch said (Manning, USA Today, 11/13).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. Youcan view the entire Kaiser DailyHealth Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email deliveryat kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily HealthPolicy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The HenryJ. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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