04/29/2012 03:19 EDT | Updated 06/29/2012 05:12 EDT

Some facts about teens and Type 2 diabetes

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Sobering news from a federally funded study of nearly 700 youths with Type 2 diabetes found that it's extremely hard to keep the disease under control. Even a common diabetes pill failed to keep blood sugar at safe levels in half of them.

Here are some facts about teens and diabetes:

— About 215,000 Americans under age 20 have diabetes. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body can't make insulin. Type 2 is related to obesity and occurs when the body can't use insulin properly.

— About 3,600 youths are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes every year. Minorities are disproportionately affected.

— Teens can lower their risk of Type 2 diabetes by maintaining a healthy weight, being more active and eating healthy foods.

— If diabetes is not controlled, it can lead to serious problems including vision loss, nerve damage, kidney failure, limb amputation — even heart attacks and strokes.

— A third of teens are obese or overweight, putting them at risk of Type 2.