Children with Type 2 Diabetes Resist Drug Treatment, Study Finds

Monday, April 30, 2012

Once upon a time, type 2 diabetes was a disease reserved almost exclusively for adults. But as obesity has become more prevalent among young people, so too has type 2 diabetes. A troubling study on the disease was released yesterday by the New England Journal of Medicine, painting a stark picture of how the disease is now affecting America’s youth. The study is the first major look at this demographic, and it finds the disease is harder to treat in youngsters compared to adults and progresses more rapidly. 

Dr. David Nathan, an author of the study, director of the diabetes center at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School joins the program to discuss the implications of these findings. Sara Chernov, a college senior at Goucher College and a participant in the study discusses what it was like to learn that at 16-years-old, she had type 2 diabetes. 


Sara Chernov and Dr. David M Nathan

Produced by:

Marc Kilstein

Comments [10]

Movado Bold White

Yesterday, while I was at work, my cousin stole my apple ipad
and tested to see if it can survive a twenty five foot
drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now broken and she has 83 views.
I know this is completely off topic but I had to share
it with someone!

Mar. 07 2013 11:29 AM

Today, I went to the beachfront with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said "You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." She
put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside
and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back!
LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had to tell someone!

Mar. 07 2013 04:45 AM

From long time my 16 years old child was also suffering with addiction habit, that time was very difficult for my family as he was facing different kinds of health related problems due to addiction. Somebody suggest me for drug rehabs and really after join this drug treatment center my son is now living drug free life. I will suggest all addicted to join these drug rehabilitation programs

May. 29 2012 06:23 AM

I agree with the listener comments the this issue is multi-faceted. Narrowing the focus on how to help kids begins with good parenting, role-modeling, and access. It begins with and ends with strong parenting to reinforce good choices on food and activities for children to engage in. If parents fail to take charge of their children's development, this battle is lost. To help the parents, doctors, nurses, school professionals, and industry leaders must support and encourage theropod behaviors and discourage bad eating and low activities. Schools cannot cut back on gym classes and recess where kids can actually exercise and play (without their electronic devices). These and all kids need at least one hour daily of real exercise that gets their blood pumping,heart levels up and their muscles moving. Think will help develop their bodiesk and support good brain development (read Spark, the new science of exercise and the brain).. Schools will also continue to be a source for providing nutritious food and meals. Schools and industry figure out better ways to source nutritious food and get rid of access to sugary drinks, candies, and other snacks that have becomefare alert as a means for schools to raise funds (thru vending machines in the schools). This program sends highly conflicting messages to kids about what constitutes good nutritional choices for them

May. 01 2012 09:27 AM
Kip S. Garwood-Tull, M.PH from Southfield Mi

We need to be more responsible as a nation... not just expect individuals to eat better, we need to have the FDA work for the public - control false labeling. We need to have industry work with health, instead of just making something ore sweet and more salty because we will like the taste better. We need to implement new nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics into our education. How about helping the farmers, especially the organic farmers. this is a larger problem than people just eating right. We need to debunk the myths about a lies of the low fat diet, the lies of 'low sugar', the lies 'natural' in labeling. I love that real education is starting and teaching kids that vegetables are tasty.

Apr. 30 2012 11:53 AM
Sigrid from New York City

Part of the problem is that kids aren't getting enough physical activity during the school day. I work with a dozen public schools in the South Bronx, where most children get one 45-minute period of gym per week. This is due to staff shortages (e.g., one gym teacher for 500 students or more), scheduling challenges (e.g., having to "teaching to the test"), and logistical problems (e.g., co-location of two or three schools in one building who have to share a single gym). My program, Healthy Schools New York, is trying to help schools address some of these challenges and is providing teacher training for classroom-based physical activity programs such as Tai Chi, Move to Improve and Activity Works. While not a replacement for gym, these programs provide brief, kinesthetic learning "brain breaks", which have been shown to improve focus, concentration and overall learning. It is critical that we get kids active again, in addition to reducing screen time (April 30 - May 6 is screen free week: and the consumption of empty calorie foods. Please visit for more information on the importance of PE in our schools.

Apr. 30 2012 11:52 AM
Anna from London

The food was changed in the USA, UK and Australia 30 years ago when dangerous food chemicals from the USA was allowed into European. The food today causes stubborn insulin If you have stubborn insulin you hold fat and have a hard time losing weight. You can eat very little and the weight still does not come off. Stubborn insulin will hold fat and diets won’t work. When researchers used a specialized diabetes diet on overweight people all lost weight even those who did not have diabetes.


Apr. 30 2012 11:07 AM

The challenge to solve Type II diabetes will be a challenge for all ages over the next decade. As your other listener commented, it is about the cumulative choices we make each day regarding what we consume and how much activity we engage in. Children are so susceptible to so many conflicting messages regarding what's good for them. 'Tony the Tiger' and frosted corn flakes aren't great! Jamie Oliver - the celebrated British chef is fighting a valiant battle to change our eating habits, starting with school lunch programs. We also need to emphasize that good eating and exercise habits, aren't punitive. It is an essential part of being human and we will feel so much better if we can reduce sugars, corn, and refined grains; eat more veggies and good protein (not burgers and hot dogs). Our bodies and brains will thank us for it.

Apr. 30 2012 09:28 AM
Molly from Brooklyn

I'd be interested to see a study of how breastfeeding instead of formula-feeding in an infants' first weeks may have an affect on the child's eventual eating habits and metabolism. I think far too many mothers now are simply not educated about the benefits of breastfeeding their babies.

Apr. 30 2012 08:46 AM
Nurse from Brklyn

As a nurse educating patients with diabetes I find that the biggest challenge for them is that they have so intense attachments to the food they eat. I believe this is true of most people and is something that should be examined more closely and should include psych and neuro-psych studies.
I don't work with children, but I find it interesting that no one has mentioned that childrens' brains are not fully developed and the difficulty this poses when expecting them to make smart decisions on their health. I believe that it has to be the parent's responsibility to help them make lifestyle changes.
Recently providers are being held financially responsible for their pateints with diabetes and helping them to make lifestyle changes. I can educate my patients for hours, but I cannot make them eat different foods, exercise more or eat leaa. These are major cultural changes that are necessary for us to fight this epidemic.

Apr. 30 2012 06:39 AM

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