Preventing type 2 diabetes in children - a role for the whole community

When the author began her career as a paediatric endocrinologist in Los Angeles, USA, 30 years ago, childhood obesity was rare and type 2 diabetes in young people was almost unheard of. Nowadays, however, one in three children in that city is overweight or obese, and a quarter of the children diagnosed with diabetes at her centre have type 2 diabetes. This situation mirrors developments in paediatric health throughout the world; obesity and type 2 diabetes in young people are now regarded as related global epidemics. However, it is now widely recognized that the current tide of type 2 diabetes in young people can be turned back through the development and implementation of anti-obesity initiatives and diabetes prevention strategies for children. According to the author, these efforts will need to involve a broad coalition including health organizations, healthcare providers, governments, schools, private business, whole communities, families and individuals throughout the world.
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Keywords: 
prevention, children, adolescents, type 2 diabetes, World Diabetes Day, obesity