A recent clinical trial published in the journal Diabetologia offers hope for the alarming number of U.S. children and adolescents who are developing diabetes. After one week on a restricted 600-calorie a day diet, a group of type 2 diabetics had restored their normal blood sugar levels. After two months, all had reversed the condition, and after three months, 64 percent remained diabetes free.

The study, conducted on 11 adults who developed diabetes later in life, took to a diet of liquids and non-starchy vegetables. Over eight weeks their fat levels in the liver and pancreas decreased, allowing the pancreas to again produce insulin. (Read the complete research [PDF].)

The study clarifies the key link that nutrition and wellness play in combating what was once thought to be an irreversible disease.In the United States, there are 25.8 million children and adults—8.3 percent of the population—who have diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). But it's not just the United States that has a problem. European studies showed an increase in the frequency of type 1 diabetes in young children. Type 1 diabetes, where too little or too much insulin is produced in the body, is usually diagnosed at 40 years of age or older, and researchers so far have no clear link for the rise.

Type 2 diabetes, however, is known to be triggered by obesity and inactivity and it's increasing at alarming rates worldwide among children, making it the "disease formerly known as adult-onset diabetes." It's now the most common form of diabetes and African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders are more at risk to develop it. The World Health Organization estimates that worldwide almost 3 million deaths per year are attributable to diabetes.