Obese Kids’ Burden: Diabetes Danger

Doctors considered the 13-year-old boy, weighing 65 kg, overweight. Recently, the teenager, seemingly “addicted” to fried chicken, was diagnosed as having diabetes by doctors at Shanghai Children’s Medical Hospital.

The message, said local pediatricians, should be clear: Overweight children, get your weight under control or you may soon be suffering from diabetes.

A few years ago, one of every 100,000 youngsters in Shanghai suffered from diabetes.

Today, the figure is five of every 100,000, said doctors at Children’s Medical Hospital.

There are 3 million youngsters in Shanghai, and nearly 300,000 are considered obese, since their weight is 20 percent higher than what is considered ideal for their height.

“Among my patients, nearly 80 to 90 percent are overweight,” said Dr. Zhi Dijing, the hospital’s specialist in children’s diabetes.

A diet dominated by fatty fast-food and a lack of exercise are the main reasons for the increase of diabetes among children, she said.

Zhi and other doctors said the treatment for children’s diabetes often lasts six months to a year.

Dr. Wang Yi, also at the hospital, said, “The problem is that many parents mistakenly believe that treatment is as simple as taking some medicine.”

“Actually, only 2 percent of the young patients permanently recover from diabetes,” the doctor said. “The rest will suffer from the certain chronic syndromes like eye disease, kidney trouble and neurosis.”

(eastday.com 01/15/2001)

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