Over the past 35 years of my career in lifestyle and nutritional medicine, I have seen an alarming rise of childhood chronic diseases and behavioral disorders. Chronic diseases including diabetes mellitus type 2, high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia and obesity are now common for children and young adults previously affecting only adults. Behavioral disorders like autism, depression, anxiety, ADHD and other developmental disorders are on the rise as well.
"From 1997 to 2013, the proportion of children ages 5 to 17 years reported to have ever been diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) increased from 6.3% in 1993 to 10.7% in 2012 and 9.9% in 2013."1
"The percentage of children ages 5 to 17 years reported to have ever been diagnosed with autism rose from 0.1% in 1997 to 1.2% in 2013. This increasing trend was statistically significant."1
"From 2002 to 2012, incidence, or the rate of new diagnosed cases of type 1 diabetes in youth increased by about 1.8 percent each year. During the same period, the rate of new diagnosed cases of type 2 diabetes increased even more quickly, at 4.8 percent."2
So what are the reasons for this increase?
In a recent nutrition workshop presented at my clinic I discussed childhood disorders. The highlight of the talk included that childhood disorders are from environmental exposures to things like toxic metals, and nutritional deficiencies that may occur from poor diet, poor absorption, or poor assimilation that may be related to genetic SNP's (single nucleotide polymorphisms or mutations). Nutrition and nutrigenomic testing is an advanced method for providing treatment and solutions for these increasing disorders in our children.
1 America’s Children and the Environment, October 2015
2 Diabetes in Youth Study, N Engl J Med 2017; 376: 1419-1429 April 13, 2017