That childhood obesity epidemic

More than 23,000 children are suffering from diabetes, with obesity responsible for a small but growing number of cases, the first official audit of the condition shows.

The survey has prompted calls for greater support for children with diabetes, particularly within schools.

It confirms that the vast majority (97 per cent) of childhood cases are type 1 diabetes, a chronic condition that requires daily monitoring and injections of insulin.

Note this as well:

The audit, carried out by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health on behalf of Sir Liam Donaldson, the Chief Medical Officer, also identified at least 328 children under 18 with type 2 diabetes, which can be associated with obesity and usually occurs much later in life.

Type I is NOT associated with obesity. But how long do you think it will be before someone or other starts to conflate the two numbers? Start claiming that the epidemic of diabetes amongst children is due to obesity and that thus soda pops must be banned in schools (just to give one example)?

8 thoughts on “That childhood obesity epidemic”

  1. It’s our favourite bugbear of causation and correlation. Type 2 diabetes generally makes you put on weight but that does not mean putting on weight causes diabetes.
    They choose their wording very carefully; using “linked” or “associated” never “caused”. It is left to journalists to add the hyperbole.

  2. Yeah, the two people I know who developed Type 1, one as an adult and one as a child, were both thin as the proverbial rakes.

    The two friends who got Type 2 were heavily built.

    Thanks, Kit, for the reminder that correlation doesn’t mean causation. I will pass it on, and maybe ease some guilt feelings. As the US Army remarks, sometimes shit happens.

  3. It’s not at school that children become obese it’s at home. Either the parents don’t understand anything about food and nutrion or they are giving in to pester power. Parents are often the ones that need education first. Of course technically they have actually had at least 11 years at a state school. So where does this buck actualy stop?

  4. Pa Annoyed,

    Yes, there are many types of diabetes, but they are broadly divided into two groups. There’s nothing misleading or dishonest about referring to type 1 and type 2; it’s a real scientific distinction.


    It’s well established that being overweight is a contributing factor to type 2 diabetes, and losing weight is part of the treatment for it.

  5. New study of human pancreases links virus to cause of type 1 diabetes
    March 5th, 2009

    A team of researchers from the Peninsula Medical School in the South West of England, the University of Brighton and the Department of Pathology at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, has found that a common family of viruses (enteroviruses) may play an important role in triggering the development of diabetes, particularly in children. These viruses usually cause symptoms similar to the common cold, or vomiting and diarrhoea. However, the team has now provided clear evidence that they are also found frequently in the pancreas of people who develop diabetes.

    Ah well with herpes related to type 2 looks like the food police will swell the ranks of the unemployed

    Researchers have found an association between the presence of antibodies for the virus human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) and an atypical form of type 2 diabetes in persons from sub-Saharan Africa, according to a preliminary study in the June 18 issue of JAMA.

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