At first glance, this story that appeared on CBS News over the weekend seems to be yet another depressing reflection on just how few people seem to give a damn that their unhealthy lifestyles are not only slowly killing them but their children as well:
There is a growing epidemic among American children, and now there is a new recommendation on how hundreds of thousands of those kids should be treated.Well, of course it is going to be difficult to effect a lifestyle change in those children. If their parents aren't willing to MAKE them change their habits, its a hopeless cause. Right here I could get up on my soapbox about parental responsibilities and and our mindless teevee-dominated culture that has created a generation of fat, slovenly couch potatoes and blah, blah, blah. If you're looking for that kind of commentary, read Karl Denninger's take.
The problem is type 2 diabetes, and it is a problem that is confounding more doctors, families, and health care professionals every day.
CBS News correspondent Tony Guida reports type 2 diabetes was never seen in young people as recently as 15 years ago. Now it's occurring with alarming frequency. Doctors know that a major risk factor is obesity. Beyond that, they were mostly in the dark about this disease.
"Very little is known about the right way to both prevent it and treat it," said Dr. Robin Goland.
A new study out today in the New England Journal of Medicine finds that the standard treatment for type 2 diabetes in children is ineffective because the commonly prescribed drug Metaformin - effective in adults - has a high failure rate in children. Still, a combination of two diabetes drugs is far more effective in treating young people.
"Two drugs right off the bat, that's an important finding," Goland said.
It is important because type 2 diabetes appears to be more aggressive in young people between the ages of 10 and 17, putting them at great risk for life-threatening illnesses typically associated with seniors.
"We want them to grow up and have healthy lives and not be having heart attacks and strokes at terribly young ages," Goland said.
When it comes to preventing type 2 diabetes, more exercise and a healthier diet are key, but doctors know young peoples' habits are tough to change.
"The first surprise that we saw was, number one, how incredibly difficult it was to effect lifestyle change in these children, in these youth that have type 2 diabetes," said Dr. Kenneth Copeland.
Instead, I'll boil my reaction down to one very simple observation: what in the hell is going to happen to these kids and their parents when our unsustainable health care system starts to break down within probably the next few years? Not to mention that when energy prices become prohibitively expensive, suddenly these wheezing, waddling fools won't be able to rely on their cars and all of the gadgets that make their lives so effort free. I don't think it takes too much imagination to realize that there are many millions of people who are going to be is deep trouble from a health standpoint long before the collapse finally comes.
Bonus: "I hope that you got fat...'cause if you got really, really fat, you might just want to see me come back"