An increase in type 2 diabetes seems to be driven by increasing rates of obesity, lack of exercise and low-quality diets, according to some recently released research in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
"I've had parents come back, crying because they didn't realize how bad the family was eating," said Jim Nettles, the owner of Body by Frame in Austin. "You have the mom with two jobs, single mom, working 40 to 50 hours a week, so it's just let me go to McDonald's...bring dinner home."
The research observed 3 million American children and teens, from 2000 to 2009. Type 1 diabetes climbed 21 percent. Type 2, which is associated with obesity, rose by more than 30 percent.
Nettles said, "We tell clients read the back of the label, not always the front."
The American Heart Association recommends children have no more than 12 grams of sugar a day.
In one can of soda there are 40 grams of sugar. That's 28 more grams then what's recommended for your child.
"Since you're just sitting down and you have nothing to use that energy for, your insulin's gonna go up and convert to fat and it's just a bad cycle," explained Nettles.
In type 2 diabetes the body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin or doesn't make enough, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Nettles added, "The goal is to have slowly digested foods, so your body can get that energy as it slowly digests it."
Obesity and diabetes increase a child's lifetime risk of heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, blindness and amputations.
Jim says he's had clients who've been pre-diabetic before. They come in, get active and make changes to their diet and become healthy, disease-free people.