Type 2 Diabetes

Discovering that your child has diabetes can be upsetting and stressful for the whole family. On these pages, we’ll give you the basic information and skills you’ll need to care for your child, including an understanding of the major forms of the disease—especially type 2 diabetes.

  • Type 2 diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder resulting from the body's inability to properly use or produce enough insulin. It’s a chronic disease with no known cure.

  • Type 2 diabetes accounts for the majority of cases of diabetes in adults but only rarely presents in children and adolescents.  However, cases of type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents are being diagnosed more frequently particularly among American Indians, African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, and Asian/Pacific Islander Americans.

  • Obesity is an important risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

  • About 25.8 million people of all ages in the United States have diabetes; only about 215,000 people younger than 20 years had diabetes—type 1 or type 2—in the United States in 2010.

  • During 2002–2005, 3,600 youth were newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes annually.

  • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, nontraumatic lower-limb amputations, and new cases of blindness among adults in the United States.

  • Diabetes is a major cause of heart disease and stroke.

  • Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. 

How Boston Children's Hospital approaches type 2 diabetes
Children’s Type 2 Diabetes Program is a specialty program within our Optimal Weight for Life (OWL) Program. The program focuses on the special needs of patients with—or at risk for—type 2 diabetes and other disorders associated with insulin resistance.

Children’s has been ranked second in the nation in Diabetes by U.S. News & World Report. We provide comprehensive services for infants, children, adolescents and young adults with all types of diabetes.

Our services include:

  • diagnostic evaluation
  • management of the acute complications of diabetes
  • long-term management and follow-up care

Our team understands the physical and emotional challenges diabetes presents for both child and family—and we’re here to help every step of the way.