Monday, April 30, 2012

Type 2 Diabetes in Obese Children Proves Difficult to Treat with Drugs Alone

Metformin, "the only pill approved in the U.S. for treatment of children with type 2 diabetes is proving surprisingly ineffective, according to a new study, heightening worries about the fast-growing and largely preventable disease," reports the Wall Street Journal (see here).

The study also included GSK's Avnadia, which is not approved for use in children and has been linked to an increase of heart attacks, curtailing its use in treatment.

699 children between 10 and 17 years old, essentially all of whom were obese and who had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes for an average of eight months were randomly assigned to one of three treatments: metformin, the mainstay diabetes medicine; metformin plus a lifestyle-intervention program; or metformin plus Avandia.

52% of those on metformin alone had failed, compared with 47% on metformin plus lifestyle change and 39% on the two-drug regimen. Statistically, only the two-drug treatment was considered superior to metformin.

The results prompted other experts to renew calls for societal efforts to combat diabetes and obesity among young people. Here is a chart showing the prevalence of obesity among young people in the U.S.:

Coincidentally (or maybe not), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) sent out a press release today announcing "The Weight of the Nation" documentary series and public awareness campaign focused on obesity in the U.S. HBO, in association with the Institute of Medicine, NIH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and in partnership with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and Kaiser Permanente Foundation, developed four documentaries focused on obesity. The project also includes a three-part HBO Family series for kids, 12 short features, a social media campaign, and a nationwide community-based campaign to mobilize action to move the country to a healthier weight. See the press release here.


  1. Childhood obesity is obviously a problem. Kids aren't getting the exercise that they need and aren't eating properly. It is the responsibility of the parents to teach children that exercise and eating healthy is important.

  2. parents should atleast stop their children from eating high amount of calories

  3. I agree with the other two replies that it is the parents responsibility to teach and monitor what their kids eat. That's pretty straight forward and to the point.

    But the real issue is actually educating and informing the parents on what is healthy. The marketing efforts of the food industry are great at making things look or sounds healthy when the product is actual very low quality. (Example: No-Fat Yogurts are filled with extra amounts of sugar. Market the healthy aspect, then give the customer unhealthy food)

    In conversations I've had, people generally think that the government's "My Pyramid" is un-attainable and they want a pill (diet pill) to Make them lose weight.

    Parents trying to teach their kids to eat healthy is like the blind leading the blind. Parents need to know how to eat better and actually do it. Until then Type 2 Diabetes will never stop increasing in this country.

  4. Diabetes is hard enough to deal with in everyday life. Unfortunately, this disease opens the door for many other serious conditions. We should protect our chldren and teach them how and what to eat in this situations.

  5. Children (and their parents) need to be educated. Are they going to be on drugs for the rest of their lives?


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