Obesity and Insulin Resistance in Children, Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Childhood obesity is dangerous because it can lead to serious health conditions, both during childhood and well into adult life. For example, Type 2 Diabetes has classically been considered a disease of adulthood but its prevalence in children is on the rise, largely due to obesity.

How does being overweight cause diabetes? Excess weight leads to the development of insulin resistance, a state in which the body struggles to efficiently utilize the carbohydrates from the foods that we eat. Over time, this leads to high blood sugars and the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Diabetes mellitus type 2, if uncontrolled, can lead to numerous complications, including recurrent infections, poor wound healing, nerve disease, heart disease, and kidney disease.

Educating children and adolescents with obesity and insulin resistance about essential healthy habits, such as meal planning and regular exercise, may improve future health outcomes by establishing a precedent of health consciousness optimal glucose control. On occasion, medication may be necessary to treat insulin resistance and/or elevated glucose levels.

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