DHAKA, April 17 (BSS) - Thirteen-year-old Bristy (not real name) went to her family physician with a complaint of vaginal discharge for five days.
When asked, she reasoned that excessive fluid intake because of heatwave might have caused the complication. A dipstick test revealed 4+ glucose in her urine and she was immediately referred to a pediatric endocrinology consultation.
On physical examination, it was found that Bristy's weight was 87 kg and her vaginal discharge was consistent with a Candida infection. She was not dehydrated.
A random blood glucose measurement of 287 mg/dl was obtained, and fingerstick hemoglobin A1c (A1C) test result was 11.1 percent. Her mother herself was a diabetic, which was initially diagnosed when Bristy was in her womb. Bristy's 18- year-old brother is also an obese. But it could not be known whether he was a diabetic as he had not seen a doctor recently.
Shuvo (not real name) is an 11-year-old boy and a resident of posh Gulshan area in the city. In a regular medical checkup, he was diagnosed with diabetes. His weight was 67 kg. On both occasions, the common factor was obesity. Both Bristy and Shuvo are from upper class families. Both of them are very fond of fast food.
Of them, Bristy is addicted to fries and burgers. And as both of them live in urban areas, there is little scope for them to play or exercise.
President of Diabetic Association of Bangladesh, Professor AK Azad Khan, said 80 lakh people in the country are suffering from diabetes. Among them, less than four percent are Type 1 or children and young adults.
Prof Khan said 1 percent of the total diabetics in the country are children. It means around 80 thousand. By number, it doesn't seem so bad, but the number of diabetic children are on the rise.
When kids eat fast food, they eat more food all day long, a recent study shows. Over a year's time, a child can pack on six extra pounds because of high fast food consumption, writes US pediatrician Dr Shanthy A Bowman.
The fats, sugar, and salt in fast food draw kids like a magnet, largely because they appeal to a child's "primordial tastes," xplains Bowman. This taste triggers more eating later in the day. And, because fast food doesn't contain much fiber, kids don't feel full afterward -- so they eat more lately.
According to the 'Clinical Diabetes Journal', the increase in diabetes among children and adolescents has emerged in parallel with an alarming rise in the number of young people who have become overweight or obese. Along with family history, obesity stands out as a prominent risk factor for the development of diabetes.
Over the past 20 years, adolescent obesity has doubled, and without increased measures for prevention, these numbers will likely continue to rise.
According to experts, children with a sedentary lifestyle, large at birth, with high risk family health behaviours like overweight mothers, smoking near the child, missing breakfast and from a family with low income or low educational attainment, were more likely to be obese.