Type II Diabetes used to be called Adult-onset Diabetes since it was only seen in older adults when it was first identified.
However, as our society continues to develop a more sedentary lifestyle combined with a bigger appetite for higher-calorie, sugary, fatty foods, people now develop Type II Diabetes at a much earlier age. And, kids are no exception.
Before I came back to HK, I thought the obesity epidemic may not have hit this Asian city so hard; that Westernization may not have caused as many health problems as seen in North America.
I was quickly proven wrong.
It seems like the younger generation in HK are very privileged. They are well-fed by their parents, often getting whatever they want, whenever they want. Also, instead of going outside to play with friends and engage in physical activities, they now spend hours in front of the TV or the computer.
End result? Young children develop poor eating habits and may lead to weight gain. In the long run, they may become overweight and/or obese, which puts them at increased risk of developing a lot of other lifelong health issues.
The newspaper clipping that I clipped out is a prime example of the impact of modernization & westernization of HK. The key take-away message is that an 8 year old girl is diagnosed with Type II Diabetes because of her habits: eating too much and too lazy to move (to the point in which she asks her mom to go out to buy things for her).
Although this may seen like an extreme case, but it is a strong illustration the impact of the obesity epidemic hitting HK at full force.
From the looks of things, I believe dietitians will gain greater importance in the health care system since Diabetes has become such a major concern and diet control, which is of course a dietitian’s specialty, will be emphasized as a key part of Diabetes care.