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12 July 2012
7-year-olds diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes
Children as young as seven are being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, which is usually associated with the middle-aged and elderly, because of increasingly unhealthy lifestyles, specialists warn today.
Parents are to blame for driving their children to school, feeding them junk food and letting them lounge around for hours, they say.
The experts warn that a tsunami of diabetes is engulfing the country, but millions are ignorant of the risks they face.
Too many have hardly heard of the disease, or believe it is just a mild condition, according to a panel convened by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to provide new advice on preventing it.
Type 2 diabetes, in which the body gradually loses its ability to produce insulin and tolerate high glucose levels, used to be called mature onset diabetes.
But panel members said that label could no longer be used due to growing numbers of youngsters being diagnosed with it.
Christine Coltrell, a diabetes nurse specialist from Warwick, said: We are even getting children as young as seven with Type 2 diabetes, and that can have devastating long term health consequences.
These children end up having heart attacks, or losing a limb, or their sight, in their 30s and 40s.
All these children were seriously obese, she said, but the lifestyle problem which caused them were endemic.
For more on this story see The Telegraph newspaper online.