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Type 2 diabetes in children

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The rates of Type 2 diabetes in children are rising. Childhood obesity is one of the main factors contributing to childhood Type 2 diabetes. Research has shown that children who are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes tend to be from marginalized communities and low-income families.

With Type 2 diabetes, cells do not respond to insulin in the body creating insulin resistance. Healthy weight and a balanced diet are important for children to maintain as they develop.

One in five children and adolescents are affected by obesity. While obesity is not the main predictor of childhood Type 2 diabetes, other factors in conjunction such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol can lead to a diagnosis.

Children are more at risk for Type 2 diabetes if they have siblings or other family members that have it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 75% of children with Type 2 diabetes have close relatives who have it.

The Social Health and Research Center developed a program approved by the Texas Education Agency. The Bienestar/Neema Coordinated School Health Program focuses on children from preschool to eighth grade. The program looks into children’s health behaviors in their home, classroom, gym, and school food service.

Why did the rate of Type 2 diabetes increase in children? What health indicators lead to a diagnosis?

What dietary measures can parents and guardians take to guarantee children eat healthy? What can schools do to ensure they feed children healthy meals?

What programs are available to help low-income families impacted by Type 2 diabetes?


  •  Lindsay Irvin, M.D., P.A., pediatrician at Alamo Heights Pediatrics
  • Roberto P. Treviño, M.D., executive director of the Social and Health Research Center
  • William H. Herman, M.D., MPH, professor of Diabetes, Internal Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Michigan; former chair of the National Clinical Care Commission

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 833-877-8255 or email thesource@tpr.org.

*This interview was recorded on Wednesday, July 13, 2022.

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David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi