A chronic disease is affecting young Americans at an alarmingly increasing rate.
Centers for Disease Control scientists are predicting a 673% increase in young Americans with Type 2 diabetes in a new study published in the American Diabetes Association’s medical journal.
In the December study, a team of scientists predicts the spike in obesity rates will take effect by 2060.
Type 2 diabetes has been traditionally associated with older individuals. However, increasing and alarming childhood obesity rates are fueling the rise of the condition among young adults and even children, according to the study.
Scientists are predicting a 65% spike in Type 1 diabetes rates in the same time frame, according to the study.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body fails to produce sufficient levels of insulin, according to the American Diabetes Association.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body is unable to process naturally produced insulin in a healthy manner. Type 2 diabetes is typically more closely associated with one’s lifestyle and eating habits.
Whereas Type 1 diabetes will often show up earlier in life, Type 2 typically develops over time.
Both forms can be caused by obesity, as well as other factors including ethnicity and gestational diabetes on the part of children born to mothers who have the condition, as The New York Post notes.
America’s overall obesity rate is 41.9%, according to CDC data. That’s a percentage that has increased significantly since 1999.
Diabetes imposes a burden on the healthcare system as well as significant costs on those who have the condition.
Diabetes is the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States, and imposes losses of $327 billion in medical costs and lost work and wages every year, according to the CDC.
Individuals with the condition can expect to incur average medical expenditures of $16,752 every single year receiving treatment, according to the American Diabetes Association.
Thirty-seven million Americans already have the condition, with its prevalence amounting to a costly and painful public health challenge.
The CDC is pointing to the study as a warning sign for childhood health.
“This new research should serve as a wake-up call for all of us,” acting principal deputy director Dr. Debra Houry said of the data.
“It’s vital that we focus our efforts to ensure all Americans, especially our young people, are the healthiest they can be.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.