Children—Rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes are soaring.

And type 2 diabetes in kids is much tougher to treat

This story has been all over the news this week—television, print and internet (See links below to articles). The first large study of type 2 diabetes in children was published online by the New England Journal of Medicine on 4-29-12. This is the first large study because until recently, type 2 diabetes in children simply didn’t exist. The study revealed:

Obesity and the form of diabetes linked to it are taking an even worse toll on America’s youths than medical experts had realized. As obesity rates in children have climbed, so has the incidence of Type 2 diabetes, and a new study adds another worry: the disease progresses more rapidly in children than in adults and is harder to treat.

As in yesterday’s blog about how “family history” affects obesity—we’re finding that the same holds true for diabetes. And it’s high time that today’s generation of parents start taking responsibility for the future family history that will affect their descendants. From the article, this is what’s at stake:

The findings could signal trouble ahead because poorly controlled diabetes significantly increases the risk of heart disease, eye problems, nerve damage, amputations and kidney failure. The longer a person has the disease, the greater the risk. So in theory, people who develop diabetes as children may suffer its complications much earlier in life than previous generations who became diabetic as adults.

Dr. Neal Barnard wrote an entire book about reversing diabetes—and it’s nothing new.

Even though Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. John McDougall, Dr. Joel Fuhrman and many others know that type 2 diabetes can be reversed in 95% or more of the cases—that news rarely makes it to the pubic. The “system” keeps talking about managing or controlling this horrible disease but keeps the public in the dark when it comes to telling them exactly how to get rid of it.

It literally makes me want to scream. In all of the mainstream news that I have heard since Sunday night on this topic, I have not heard a single mention of the simple way to stop this disease in its tracks. Sadly, proper guidance from the medial community on how to reverse diabetes hardly ever happens. Rather, most young people experience something like this one mentioned in the NY Times article:

Sara Chernov, 21, a college senior from Great Neck, N.Y., learned that she had Type 2 diabetes when she was 16. Her grandfather had had both legs amputated as a result of the disease, and one of the first questions she asked was when she would lose her legs and her eyesight.

A doctor scolded her for being fat and told her she had to lose weight and could never eat sugar again. She left the office in tears and did not go back; soon after, she joined the [aforementioned] study at Columbia. Like many of the children in the program, she did not even know how to swallow a pill.

Sadly, you won’t find much help here. They’re in the disease-management business—not disease elimination.

The study featured three separate groups of patients, all of whom received some kind of drug–even the group that also had a lifestyle change element. But high failure rates were reported in all three. Sadly, none of the groups received the kinds of dietary changes that are recommended by all of the doctors mentioned earlier—and laid our clearly in Dr. Barnard’s book.

Want to help create a “family history” of vibrant health in your family. Begin by doing your homework. Read some books, make some calls and develop a plan of action.

Having trouble finding an M.D. that “gets it” regarding the reversal of diabetes or heart disease? This may help: Finding an MD that appreciates plant-based nutrition

New York Times Article: Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes Cases Take Toll on Children

Results of the study were published in: The New England Journal of Medicine.

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Diagnostic Survey It takes less than five minutes and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to

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J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4Leaf page or some great recipes at Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

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Blogging daily at…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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2 Responses to Children—Rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes are soaring.

  1. Leo S. says:

    We should try to prevent these conditions from developing in the first place so we don’t have to spend time and money to treat them in later years. At 17:30 in the lecture by Dr. Veith he discusses Type-1 Diabetes. Other illnnesses are also mentioned. This is a must-see video for people to better understand the food and sickness sectors.

  2. Jessica says:

    Great topic today!! I personally love the concept of teaching kitchens for patients

    Harvard school of Public Health has a
    Course on healthy kitchens, healthy patients that stresses plant based eating. Interesting for you to meet course director and see what you think.

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