It takes a lot to shock me here on Planet Stupid, but when I heard Teenage Diabetes Rates Soar on Tom Ashbrook's NPR talk show On Point last Thursday, I almost couldn't believe what Tom's guests were saying.
Stunning numbers this week in the journal Pediatrics on teenage [type 2] diabetes in America. In less than a decade, the number of American teens testing positive for diabetes or pre-diabetes jumped from nine percent to 23 percent.
Almost one in four. That is shocking. For those kids. And for the country.
People can live with diabetes. But you wouldn’t wish it on them. Vision loss. Nerve damage. Kidney failure. Amputation. All risks. Then there’s the cost, to young lives, and the nation. Of so many teens looking down this road.
[My note: "pre-diabetes" means the blood glucose level in these teens is much higher than it should be. Sadly, the study did not distinguish between actually having diabetes and being pre-diabetic.]
McDonald's. Burger King. Potato Chips. Kentucky Fried Chicken. Ragu spaghetti sauce. High-fructose corn syrup. The list of crap corporate assholes want to sell to young people goes on and on. This is not a country. It's a Death Trap.
Nobody saw anything like this in the 1990s. This epidemic of type 2 diabetes has "broken out" in the last 10 years.
Follow the link to the On Point story to listen to the story.
Tom's first guest was Dr. Ashleigh May, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control. She was lead author of the study of teenage diabetes which was just published in the journal Pediatrics. Listening to her is a total waste of time. Her inability to make any strong statement about this astonishing study was matched only by my extreme irritation at her evasive answers to Tom's questions.
So skip ahead to the 7:10 mark in the audio to listen Robin Goland, professor of Clinical Medicine and Pediatrics at Columbia University. She directs the patient care and clinical research programs at the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center. Goland is also quoted in the New York Times article Obesity-Linked Diabetes in Children Resists Treatment, which was published on April 29, 2012 before this Pediatrics study came out.
Robin starts by saying "if we don't do something about this, it is nothing short of catastrophic. These are adult diseases which were [already] bad enough in people who are old like me..."
I will follow up on this story in the near future.