Children with Obesity and Diabetes in Asia

Children with obesity

Recently, the international agencies have started to warn about a rapid increase in childhood incidence of obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases in Asia. According to researchers, the level of incidence will increase at an early date.

If previously, the combination of these diseases was more often diagnosed in people older than 65 years, nowadays it has become a frequent occurrence among children. Furthermore, the age of young people with overweight and diabetes gradually decreases.

International Diabetes Federation counted that by 2025 the number of people with diabetes all over the world is expected to reach 380 million. Most of them will have weight problems. A half of them will live in Asia.

Recent reports from Japan and the islands of Pacific Ocean stated that more than 70% of children with obesity suffer from type 2 diabetes. Increasing the number of children with type 2 diabetes and obesity is a cause for concern among international health organizations.

Today, it is quite difficult to assess accurately the scale of childhood obesity with diabetes not only in Asia, but also throughout the world. Children and adolescents were involved only in a few large-scale studies.

Most of them are based on data obtained from pediatric clinics. Furthermore, diabetes can be not detected in many children in Asia, and some of children are misdiagnosed another form of diabetes. Obviously, this problem has become a serious cause for concern throughout the Asian region.

Asian children can be more predisposed to the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes than their peers from the Europe or America. A study held in the United Kingdom has shown that children of South Asian origin are at higher risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes than children of European origin by more than 10 times.

A recent analysis of data of ten Asian countries revealed that type 2 diabetes was diagnosed in 10% of children with obesity. This data is very different from such statistics in Japan, where the proportion of new cases of type 2 diabetes in children reaches 80%.

Studies held in Thailand have revealed a frightening statistics.

The number of cases of type 2 diabetes in children:

  • 1997 – 5%
  • 1999 – 15%.

The similar data was obtained from clinics of other Asian countries. Despite the fact that type 2 diabetes in the combination with obesity has been revealed in children recently, now its level increases at a frightening rate.

One of the studies of the prevalence of type 2 diabetes among children was held in Japan at the end of the last century. The level of glucose in the urine, and then in the blood plasma were tested in seven million pupils.

The studies have been conducted for 8 years. During this period, the annual incidence of type 2 diabetes has increased from 0.2% to 7.3% – hundred thousand children a year. Herewith, the highest growth rate of diabetes and obesity was observed among children under 12 years.


In recent years, economic transformations in Asia have led to radical changes in the lifestyle of most people. Serious changes in dietary habits and level of physical activity have become a result of modernization and open trade markets.

Asian family have begun to consume more fats, particularly animal fats, more meat, more sugar, but less fresh vegetables than in the past. Obesity is often associated with the fact that motor vehicles displaced bicycles. TV and computer are among the most preferred leisure activities.

Radical changes have played an important role in the increase of obesity rate. Furthermore, these changes have started directly to affect the development of insulin resistance regardless of body weight.


Many studies have examined the predisposition of Asian children and adults to obesity and various comorbidities. There were revealed factors influencing on the genetic predisposition.

Some studies have shown that Asian children have higher level of body fat at lower body weight compared to children in the Europe. Asian children more often have central abdominal fat deposition during weight gain.

The rapid rates of economic transformations in Asia allow many Asian families to improve their wealth and make affordable processed foods rich in fat and sugar. If the lack of high-calorie food abruptly gives way to excess, the risk of metabolic disorders, obesity and diabetes in children increases.


Scientists may argue about what the reason for the increase of obesity and diabetes in Asian children is. However, it is necessary to take urgent measures to prevent the disease development right now.

Children more difficult respond to the treatment of obesity in the combination with diabetes than adults. Adult people are often prescribed a drug therapy or surgical treatment, which is contraindicated in children in most countries of the world.

In Australia and New Zealand, drug therapy of obesity is prescribed to children over 12 years old. Appetite suppressants containing an active substance Phentermine Hydrochloride are available in these countries. You can buy Phentermine (Duromine or Metermine) by prescription only.

Fragile healthcare system of less economically developed countries might not cope with the progressing epidemic of obesity, diabetes and related diseases. Children and parents should lead a healthy lifestyle. Public and government organizations should speed up this process as quickly as possible.