XIOMARIZ, HAS TYPE 2 DIABETES: I have to take medication, and then once a day I have to take insulin, which I hate. I hate it. And I have to check my blood five times a day.
ANNOUNCER: Xiomariz is only in her teens, but she's battling type two diabetes, a disease that use to affect adults almost exclusively.
ROBERT RAPAPORT, MD, PROFESSOR OF PEDIATRICS AT MOUNT SINAI: Probably the primary cause is the increase in obesity, which has really been extremely great, and especially in the last 10 to 15 years. The increase in the incidence of type 2 diabetes in childhood is quite alarming, especially because if we start seeing diabetes at younger and younger ages, it's likely that we would see complications of diabetes at younger and younger ages. So it's potentially an extremely significant medical problem.
ANNOUNCER: Other factors, like belonging to a certain ethnic group, can also affect a child's risk of the disease.
ROBERT RAPAPORT, MD, PROFESSOR OF PEDIATRICS AT MOUNT SINAI: It's important that if one has a child who is from an at-risk ethnicity, African-American, Asian Pacific, Latino, especially if there's a family history of type 2 diabetes, if such a child becomes overweight and obese to try to intervene to prevent further aggravation of the obesity. It's a very, very important prevention task that the United States has at hand right now.
ANNOUNCER: Often, changing a child's lifestyle is the first step to managing the disease.
XIOMARIZ, HAS TYPE 2 DIABETES: I'm trying to exercise, eat right, check my blood, take my medicine. So this is a lot of things to do, but I have to do them to stay healthy.
ANNOUNCER: Dr. Rapaport says it's a battle the whole family has to fight.
ROBERT RAPAPORT, MD, PROFESSOR OF PEDIATRICS AT MOUNT SINAI: It's very important to have the expectations as well as the realization of the entire family that it's really not the child's problem alone, that it's the entire family that is involved in this.
XIOMARIZ, HAS TYPE 2 DIABETES: I don't think I'd be able to do it without them, especially my mom. My dad helps me a lot, too, and his wife.
ANNOUNCER: Xiomariz has this advice for other kids with type 2 diabetes.
XIOMARIZ, HAS TYPE 2 DIABETES: Just take it seriously, like very seriously.
ANNOUNCER: Thanks for joining us on today's Once Daily.