More kids than ever diagnosed with diabetes, cardiovascular problems
Posted at: 05/21/2012 10:54 PM
| Updated at: 05/21/2012 11:14 PM
By: Lynette Adams | WHEC.com
The Centers for Disease Control says more kids than ever are being diagnosed with diabetes.
A study by the CDC found that from 1999 until 2008, the number of adolescents with diabetes or pre-diabetes has more than doubled, from 9% to 21%. The study also found that 60% of obese adolescents had at least one risk factor for future heart disease.
If you see Robert McCullough Jr. on the basketball court, there's a good chance you'll see his 3 young children on the playground. McCullough says he wants his children to learn the importance of an active lifestyle while they're young. He says too many kids are slaves to videogames, and are unhealthy as a result.
McCullough's concern is supported by a nationwide survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It found the number of cases of diabetes and pre-diabetes among kids 12 to 19 has more than doubled since 1999.
Nancy Brown is the national CEO of the American Heart Association. She is in town to celebrate Rochester as a healthy heart community. While heart attacks and strokes are rare in adolescents, some evidence shows diabetes, high blood pressure and unhealthy levels of cholesterol can cause lasting damage.
Brown says there's a national crisis.
When we look at the broad spectrum of all Americans, 39% of people believe they are in ideal cardiovasular health, when actually fewer than one percent are. So reports like this report out of the CDC should raise the alarm bell," says Brown.
Brown says parents and schools can play a crucial role in helping kids to develop healthy attitudes about fitness.
It's what keeps Frank Smith, now 22, shooting hoops at least 4 days a week. "Since middle school I've been into sports, playing. I like sports so I come out and play as much as I can," he says.
Researchers found a direct relationship between an adolescent's body mass index and risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Older adolescents and boys were more likely than girls and younger children to have risk factors.