By Maggie Jaqua – July 18, 2019 Originally posted on WholeFoods Magazine.


Usually, I’m happy to report on trends. The plant-based boom, the CBD craze…sharing news about the wellbeing-boosters that are bringing consumers to natural products stores is a highlight. The trend I spent hours researching this month, though, brings me no joy: Children being diagnosed with adult diseases. A few sobering statistics:


  • Rates of overweight and obesity have increased in all age groups among children ages 2-19, according to a study titled “Prevalence of Obesity and Severe Obesity in US Children, 1999–2016” published in Pediatrics. The rates generally increased with age, with 41.5% of teens having obesity by 16-19 years of age.
  • Newly diagnosed cases of Type 2 diabetes in children and teens increased roughly 4.8% every year of the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study, which was conducted between 2002 and 2012. Speaking to U.S. News & World Report, Dr. Fran Cogen, director of the Childhood and Adolescent Diabetes Program at Children’s National Health System and professor of pediatrics at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C., said, “Prior to