Type II Diabetes on the rise in children

CHARLESTON, SC- What use to be almost exclusively a disease of adults is increasingly becoming a problem for children.

According to the Centers for Disease Control there are more than 250 thousand people 20 and under that are living with Type II Diabetes.

Dr. Deborah Bowlby with MUSC'S Pediatric Endocrinology Department is on a mission.

Dr. Bowlby is trying to curb the growing surge of Type II Diabetes and break the trend before it even starts in children.

"We use to think of Type II Diabetes as adult Diabetes but what we are realizing is that there are a lot more children getting diagnosed with Type II Diabetes,"Dr.Bowlby said.

Dr.Bowlby says 10 years ago she did not see any kids in her clinic with this disease.

Currently 20 percent of the children that come into her clinic are dealing with Type II Diabetes.

Dr. Bowlby says the number one risk factor of the disease is being overweight and her youngest patient is 7 years old.

"It was really heartbreaking because at seven you hate having health issues that you would expect I adults to be effecting kids that young," Bowlby said.

MUSC Registered Dietician Katherine Boyce says it all starts with the parents.

Boyce says changing your child's diet and exercise habits as well as replacing sugar beverages with water and milk is a great start.

Boyce also says its important to eat more fruit and veggies as well as whole grains instead of sugary high fat processed food.

"Before we expect our children to change we got to change and if you want to see that change be that change eat fruits and veggies and your child will follow suit,"Boyce said.

Boyce says, when it comes to cooking cut back on the rice pasta and bread and do activities that involve the entire family being active instead of just playing video games and watching Tv.

Dr.Bowlby says to keep the disease under control could be hard on kids and could mean a daily regimen of pills and in some cases four daily shots of insulin.