HOUSTON - "This was predictable, and I tell you if you talk to any pediatrician nationwide, they are going to tell you that they have seen the same result of increase," said Dr. Michael Yafi, MD, director of pediatric endocrinology at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth.
Research presented by Dr. Daniel Hsia, associate professor at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, drew from a retrospective analysis of admissions at Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital in Baton Rouge, La. The study compared the rate of kids presenting to the hospital with Type 2 diabetes from March-December 2020, over the same period a year prior.
The study suggested pandemic-related lockdowns reduced opportunities for exercise while boosting the amount of time spent in front of screens.
Disturbed sleep, poor diets, and sedentary behavior likely increased the risk factors for Type 2 diabetes, and according to study authors, "even modest weight gain over a short period of time can increase the risk for long-term consequences such as Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease."
"For many of these children, they stay at home and lack physical activity, increase calorie intake and food intake," said Dr. Yafi.
So the message to parents: "You have to be very vigilant. I think the most important message is to go back and deal with lifestyle modifications. If your child is obese, you need to do something about that," said Dr. Yafi.
Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
-unintended weight loss