How to Protect Your Child From Developing Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic metabolic problem that results in the elevated concentration of blood sugar. It is a health problem that usually affects adults forty-five years of age or older. However, as mentioned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for the last two decades there has been a rising prevalence of Type 2 diabetes in adolescents and children. This is partially due to the fact that it is being recognized and diagnosed more readily, and also to the increasing incidence of Type 2 diabetes in the general population.

In the United States, Type 2 diabetes in children and teens is more common among ethnic groups such as American Indians, Black Americans, Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans. According to the Diabetes Fact Sheet published by the National Diabetes Education Program, the increased prevalence of diabetes in young people is a direct consequence of the rising obesity epidemic in children and teens. Just the same as in adult onset diabetes, being overweight and obese are known risk factors for this metabolic problem in children.

How can you protect your child from this chronic disease?

Overweight and obesity are the most important risk factors for the development of early onset Type 2 diabetes. Eliminating this problem can decrease your child’s risk.

1. Control your child’s caloric intake: Even from an early age, teach your child how to regulate his/her food intake. Some parents think that being “chubby” is cute for their little ones but actually, being “chubby” can be harmful. Regulate their intake of fatty foods, sweet treats and regular soda. Teach them the importance of a healthy well-balance diet and self-control even at an early age.

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2. Encourage them to move around and have regular physical activity: Spending a lot of time reading or on the computer, playing Nintendo, and/or watching TV are all popular activities that robs your child of the exercise your child’s body needs to burn calories and be fit. To prevent your child from gaining weight, why not buy him/her a pair of roller skates or a bicycle? Teach your child how to use them. Ride your bicycle around the park with your child. Think of some physical activities that you can do together as a family. Some families are more sedentary than others – obesity tends to run in families. Get everyone moving.

3. Let you child be responsible for doing some household chores: Cleaning the yard, raking the leaves, washing the car and watering the plants are some chores your teenager can easily do every day – see him burn more calories in the process. The whole issue of weight control is one of energy expenditure.

Teaching the new generation about the importance of achieving a healthy weight is their only defense against the rising prevalence of obesity and Type 2 diabetes. This is the way to protect your child from chronic health problems. This is the only way you can prevent him from developing Type 2 diabetes.


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