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B. The Tragedy of Type 2 Diabetes

Narrator: This is Science Today. Of all the major diseases in the United States, Type 2 diabetes is probably the least well-known -- and one of the most expensive, according to Dr. Robert Henry of the University of California, San Diego.

Henry: One out of seven health care dollars in the United States is spent on diabetes or diabetes- related complications.

Narrator: The vast majority are Type 2 diabetics, who, unlike Type 1's, make insulin but don't use it efficiently.

Henry: And therefore it is a major, if not the major contributor to our unbelievably high health care costs.

Narrator: Type 2 diabetes can be controlled and sometimes prevented through diet and exercise. The tragedy, says Henry, is that it's not. In fact it's a growing problem. The reason is that Americans are eating more and exercising less.

Henry: Unfortunately we're now seeing children -- young adolescents and young children -- with Type 2 diabetes. It used to be a disease almost uniquely of adults. But children are now starting to develop it, in large part because of being overweight and underactive.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Steve Tokar.