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Unhealthy lifestyle exacts heavy toll from children

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Doctors say an unhealthy lifestyle is causing an alarming change in the health of U.S. teen-agers: More of them are developing adult diseases like type 2 diabetes at an early age.

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Lifestyle changes may help people avoid diabetes. CNN's Holly Firfer reports

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"In the past it's been said that 10 percent of the children with diabetes have type 2 diabetes," said Dr. Holly Schachner. "In recent years estimates have been increasing to 25 percent and in some centers up to 40 percent."

That means growing numbers of children are at risk for serious complications like kidney and heart disease, blindness and nerve degeneration in their arms and legs.

Health experts say bad eating and exercise habits are a big part of the problem. They encourage parents to take better control of what their kids eat and how active they are.

CNN Medical Correspondent Holly Firfer has the story of one young man dealing with a serious adult disease.



RELATED STORIES:
Diabetes cases are growing substantially
August 23, 2000
Is your child overweight? Charts will tell
May 30, 2000
Chat transcript: Dr. John Monaco on childhood obesity
October 18, 1999
USDA releases food guide pyramid for youngsters
March 25, 1999
U.S. to change charts because all kids weigh too much
September 14, 1998
Obesity rising in U.S. children
October 2, 1995

RELATED SITES:
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Diabetes Association
CDC: Diabetes Public Health Resource


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