09/19/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Chicago's Looming Diabetes Epidemic

While childhood obesity rates remain sky-high in the U.S., society has yet to feel the full weight of our expanding waistlines, experts say. For young adults, this could mean a type 2 diabetes epidemic lurks in the not-so-distant future.

"It can take up to 10 years for a person to develop type 2 diabetes, so it means we have yet to see the most damaging effects of childhood obesity," says Dr. Joyce Lee, a University of Michigan pediatric endocrinologist whose work on this topic was recently published in Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine.

Lee compared the obesity epidemic to a tsunami with lag time before it strikes. When this built-up wave finally hits young adults, serious type 2 diabetes implications will surface, she said.

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