Julia Jun / La Canada High School 11th grade
Unhealthy lifestyle is not uncommon, especially in the US. With more than a third of the population being overweight, obesity and diabetes is becoming a more emergent issue to Americans and the entire world. Diabetes is mainly caused by the lack of insulin that is not able to convert glucose into energy. Diabetes can generally be split into 2 categories; type 1 and type 2.
While type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that is passed down from generation to generation, type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that is mostly caused by lifestyle and obesity. A recent study published by the American Diabetes Association in December of 2022 found that adolescents younger than 20 will most likely experience a near 700% percent increase of type 2 diabetes by 2060, with the highest prevalence among non-Hispanic Black youth.
But kids’ lifestyles will not be easily changed. Electronics are part of children’s everyday lives, from the morning they wake up until they get under the covers of their bed, it’s by their side all day long.
Nowadays kids are more prone to being indoors on their phones which accounts for the increasing number of obesity in kids. In recent times, due to COVID, the healthcare industry has seen a steep increase in type 2 diabetes. According to a John Hopkins article, a study ”conducted in collaboration with the University of Colorado School of Medicine,” found that “the average number of new diagnoses per year in the two pre-pandemic years increased from 825 to 1,463 during the first year of the pandemic, an increase of 77%.” As a result of being trapped inside homes, the kids were not only inactive but stuck on their phones and laptops even during zoom school.
Beata Rydger, a health nutritionist states that, “With the rise in technology, levels of stress and anxiety have been increasing, along with poor sleep patterns and lack of exercise, some of which may contribute to diabetes.”
According to the CDC, “From 2001-2017, significant increases in the number of youth living with type 2 diabetes were observed in youth aged 10-14 and 15-19 years old, in both sexes and for each racial and ethnic group.” With this ongoing trend, its not going to be long until the number starts to grow out of control.
Luckily, while there is no cure for diabetes, type 1 can definitely be prevented. Previously stated, type 1 diabetes is mainly caused by unhealthy lifestyle and obesity. The most important thing would be to get away from electronics and limit fast food intake.
With these things being so accessible to young kids, it’s definitely not something that can be fixed overnight. But knowing that these numbers will get out of control in just a few years, its crucial that we take small steps to try and get this global issue under control.
<Julia Jun / La Canada High School 11th grade