While obesity has long been known as a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in North Carolina now say it may also be a factor in the onset of type 1 diabetes in children.
The study of nearly 450 participants aged 20 and younger, found that obesity was linked with an acceleration of the disease.
While researchers admit that the connection to obesity was observed only in study participants whose production of beta cells in the pancreas had already been compromised, they say these findings do have important implications with obesity rates on the rise.
Current obesity rates for Canadian children between the ages of 2 and 17, is eight percent, up from 3 percent in 1979. According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, over 2 million Canadians have diabetes, 10 percent of which are type 1 diabetes.
Researchers speculate these latest findings will have important implications in terms of addressing the root causes of obesity in children, including junk food and low exercise levels.
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