The epidemic of diabetes we are seeing among children and people in their teens is NOT caused by overeating and failure to exercise. It's caused by genetic damage to the mitochondria--the parts of the cell that burn glucose.
You can read the study that proved this here:
Subjects With Early-Onset Type 2 Diabetes Show Defective Activation of the Skeletal Muscle PGC-1α/Mitofusin-2 Regulatory Pathway in Response to Physical Activity. María Isabel Hernández-Alvarez et al. Diabetes Care March 2010 vol. 33 no. 3 645-651 doi: 10.2337/dc09-1305
You can read a report that gives slightly more information than the abstract in the Diabetes In Control report you'll find HERE.
Though it won't be, this should be front page news in every paper and headlining the TV Evening News, because what this study makes crystal clear is that cutting out sweets and lengthening recess is not going to be enough to keep children from developing both morbid obesity and Type 2 diabetes at tragically young ages.
Genetic damage like this occurs when children have been damaged in the womb by chemical exposures to substances ranging from pharmaceutical drugs the mother takes, to the herbicide atrazine in the water their mother drank, to pesticides in their food, to PCBs in dust, and to the plastics leaching into food from cans and containers. Once you damage a gene that occurs in every cell that burns glucose, the damage is not reversible.
The industry that has polluted our environment will fight to its last dollar to keep the public from realizing what is really causing the so-called diabetes epidemic. Twenty five years ago there was a much stronger public awareness of the dangers of this pollution, but since then it has been redirected into the Green movement, and the people who used to fight to keep herbicides out of your drinking water are now more obsessed with recycling their garbage and getting better mileage from their cars.
Meanwhile, a whole generation of children is turning out to have been as damaged by pollutants as the transgendered frogs found all over the world. The poisoning of our environment by industrialization may have grown to where it may be too late to reverse.
The drugs excreted into wastewater that are not filtered out in treatment plants, the chemicals in our air and water, and the plastics that surround us are taking a toll, and it will take a few more decades, and millions more permanently damaged babies until we know exactly which chemicals are causing it.
As you can see HERE, a map of the highest incidence of obesity in the US is very similar to the map of areas where Atrazine use is highest. We know that exposure in the womb to the plastic Bisphenol-A makes animal offspring dramatically obese. We know many of the powerful psychiatric pharmaceuticals,heavily overprescribed to people with normal emotional aches and pains, raise insulin resistance and cause weight gain--and then flush into the water that, when the solids and e coli are removed from it becomes municipal drinking water while still carrying the molecules of these drugs. We know the concentration of PCBs and arsenic in the blood stream correlate to the likelihood a person will develop diabetes. We even know that the fire retardants in a mother's couch or carpet enter her blood stream and may damage her baby as does the teflon on her frying pan.
All we don't know is how to make the public recognize the toll these environmental poisons are taking, so that the public realizes the rise in diabetes among our young is the result of poisoning, not personal weakness and the result of bad parenting.
Don't hold your breath. It's always easier to blame other people's lack of "personal responsibility"--which makes the blamer feel safe, than it is to admit we are all of us in a dangerous situation that may be difficult or even impossible to reverse.
ADDED April 7, 2010:
Yet another study finds obesity can be diagnosed effectively in 6 month old babies and accurately predict weight at age two.
No way obesity in infants can be from "lifestyle choices." It is impossible to overfeed a 6 month old with a normal metabolism. In fact, it can be frustratingly hard to FEED them as those of us with underweight children have learned. These are damaged babies, and blaming their mothers for introducing cereal at the age when almost all American mothers introduce cereal is ridiculous.
So is the idea that breastfeeding prevents weight gain. My breastfed-only 26 pound 4 month old boy proved that.