Narrator: This is Science Today. Type 2 diabetes has always been considered an adult disease caused in part by years of overeating. But with the rising rate of childhood obesity in this country, there's been a dramatic rise in children with Type 2 diabetes. Kenneth Jones, a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California, San Diego says in fact, over the years, there's been a ten-fold increase.
Jones: What we found was that in the early part of the decade, we saw perhaps one patients with this diagnosis - maybe two a year. Last year, we had thirteen patients present in the same population. It is certainly increasing - some people would say in epidemic proportions.
Narrator: Childhood Type 2 diabetes seems more prevalent in certain ethnic groups, like Native Americans, African-Americans and Hispanics. But there are other risk factors.
Jones: Certainly any family that has diabetes in it, particularly Type 2 diabetes. The risk goes up if the child becomes obese.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.