Home Science The Kiddies Are All Dying Of Diabetes Because Obesity

The Kiddies Are All Dying Of Diabetes Because Obesity

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An interesting little addition to this story about how the kiddies of the country are all dying off from diabetes ‘coz they’re all so fat. And therefore we should be stocking gastric bands on children who have not yet gone through puberty.

That last sounds most, most, odd to me:

Put obese children under the knife to cut diabetes risk, say experts
Soaring rates of overweight under-18s have seen the number of children with type 2 diabetes more than double in five years

Ratios between weight and height do bounce around rather a lot pre- and during puberty so the idea that a permanent surgery is required grates a little. But that is merely an outsider’s opinion, not an actual doctorly observation. There’s also the point that Chris Snowdon keeps making, that the childhood obesity numbers are entirely made up.

We might even think that given the concentration upon this issue that the definition of diabetes has changed a little in recent years.

However, here’s the interesting little observation:

But soaring obesity rates in under-18s have seen the number of young children with the condition more than double in five years.

Experts are now calling for young people to be offered operations like gastric bypasses and bands in a bid to prevent long-term damage.

Surgeon Andrew Beamish, an honorary senior lecturer at Swansea University, said children should be offered surgery soon after being diagnosed.

Doubling, right. But there’s this:

Researchers determined the national U.K. incidence of type 2 diabetes in children was 0.72 per 100,000, based on the estimated U.K. population of 13,008,432 in mid-2015. South Asian children (incidence rate, 2.92 per 100,000) and black children (incidence rate, 1.67 per 100,000) had a higher incidence rate of type 2 diabetes vs. white children (incidence rate, 0.44 per 100,000), according to researchers.

Mass immigration is a pretty recent thing in the UK. The ethnic background of the children of the nation is hugely different from what it was even two decades back. Thus we would expect to see a change in the population incidence of diseases connected with ethnic background.

South Asian propensity to diabetes? Several millennia of severely restricted calorie intake in the ancestral population meets modern world abundance? It’s as reasonable an explanation as any other and has the advantage of at least being partly true.

Has the change in the ethnicity – and recall, with genetically related diseases, which diabetes is, ethnicity does actually matter – been large enough to explain the change in diabetes incidence? Arguably, yes, the national BAME is about 13%, among over 80s 4%, among kiddies 20%-25% and rising (figures dimly recalled from last census).

I’m still worried about the idea of gastric bands among those who haven’t finished growing yet. But it would be interesting to see an ethnic breakdown of that rise in cases, wouldn’t it? Is this something that is rising among the indigene population or is it something affecting those whose genes are facing our abundance for the first time?

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