Dr. Jamie Jeffrey of Charleston Area Medical Center said she wasn't trained in how to treat Type 2 diabetes 20 years ago, so she had to re-educate herself and learn how to tackle adult diseases in children.
"I had a 2-year-old patient that weighed over 100 pounds,'' she said.
The child was too obese to walk, and she was on medication for sleep apnea.
"So it's really not only the number of kids affected but the severity of the disease,'' Jeffrey said.
West Virginia has taken several approaches to the problem, including requiring healthier meals in public schools, building parks and walking or biking paths, and supporting community gardens to grow more vegetables.
"This is the first sign that we have at least stabilized the epidemic,'' Jeffrey said, "and now we need it to make a big U-turn.''