Type 2 diabetes was once known as the “adult onset” type, because it came on only in adulthood.

But youth no longer confers immunity. Thanks to rampant childhood obesity, Type 2 is increasingly being diagnosed among American kids.

Although the numbers are still small, the growth of this disease among the young is another troubling sign of how serious America’s weight problem has become.

By federal standards, a third of American children and two-thirds of adults weigh more than they should. A debate is raging over how much loss of life this causes, but there is little question that being severely obese poses serious health problems and can shorten life.

The health consequences of the obesity epidemic among kids demand immediate action.

Children’s food choices are heavily dependent on adults, and childhood obesity predicts a lifetime of struggles with weight and disease.

It’s time for an all-out national campaign to change this disturbing picture.