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Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes Cases Take Toll on Children

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Obesity and the form of diabetes linked to it are taking an even worse toll on America's youth than medical experts had realized. As obesity rates in children have climbed, so has the incidence of type 2 diabetes, and a new study adds another worry: the disease progresses more rapidly in children than in adults, and is harder to treat.

"It's frightening how severe this metabolic disease is in children," said Dr. David M. Nathan, an author of the study and director of the diabetes center at the Massachusetts General Hospital. "It's really got a hold on them and it's hard to turn around."
Before the 1990s, this form of diabetes was hardly ever seen in children. It is still uncommon, but experts say any increase in such a serious disease is troubling. There were about 3,600 new cases a year from 2002 to 2005 (the latest available data).

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