New data shows the spread of type-2 diabetes is no longer confined to adults. More and more cases of childhood diabetes are being documented across Australia, pointing to a growing epidemic of the disease in children as young as twelve. If this trend isn’t stopped in its tracks, then one out of every six Australians could suffer from diabetes within the next few years.
Diabetes by the Numbers
Recent data shows some disheartening new developments concerning type-2 diabetes: it isn’t as picky as we once thought. Last year, over 200 cases of diabetes in children under the age of fifteen were reported. Experts are now saying these numbers are only the beginning of a larger pandemic.
Greg Johnson, the CEO of Diabetes Australia, is convinced that these statistics are historically significant. “These are numbers you wouldn’t have seen 10 or 15 years ago,” he said.
While there are currently 1.05 million Australians suffering from diabetes, another two to three million are at risk of developing the disease. If children too are now at risk, this number is likely to expand rapidly.
The findings will have drastic consequences. No parent wants their child to develop diabetes, which can cause serious health complications and even result in death.
A Reversal Is Possible
The exact causes of type-2 diabetes are still not understood, but we know that there is a direct connection between the disease and obesity. Recent studies are also showing a likely link between type-2 diabetes and sugar intake.
As parents, it’s vital we protect our children from this life-long disease. Talk to your children about their weight and come up with a plan of managing it together. Exercise, healthier eating habits and replacing sugar with natural sweeteners are some great first steps to take.
Up to 60% of cases of type-2 diabetes can be prevented. As the sixth leading cause of death in Australia, it is critical we take action.