“Obese three-year-old becomes youngest child diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes.

[Sarah Knapton, Science Editor, The Telegraph, 9/17/15].


A three-year-old 77lb girl is the youngest known person in the world to be diagnosed with type 2-diabetes. This obese Hispanic Texan child was symptomatic with frequent urination and thirst. Her initial blood glucose [sugar] levels were elevated. Definitive blood and urine tests performed by Dr. Michael Yafi, MD [director Pediatric Endocrinology at the University of Texas, in Houston] diagnosed type 2-diabetes. Both parents were obese and had fed the child both a high sugar diet and a high fat diet with excess calories. Type-2 diabetes has been called maturity onset diabetes because it usually occurs in mature adults. According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention: [1] the incidence of childhood type-2 diabetes has more than doubled in the United States in the last thirty years; [2] The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2012. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to nearly 21% over the same period; [3] In 2012, in the USA, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese; [4] most obesity is caused by excess calories in the diet.

This patient is an extreme example of how unhealthy our modern culture has become. Most people do not understand how their bodies work. Most people do not eat a healthy diet because most people are over-weight [two out of every three Americans are considered to be overweight or obese]. Most people do not exercise. The result is a society of people with a high incidence of metabolic health problems such as hypertension, type-2 diabetes, coronary artery disease, and stroke.

This three year-old diabetic girl was started on the drug metformin, a lower calorie diet, and increased physical activity. Within six months her weight decreased to 60 lbs. and her blood glucose level returned to normal.

This girl was lucky because her parents now recognize the importance of a healthy life-style. Most Americans are not so lucky.