How to prevent Type 2 Diabetes in children

The number of children living with Type 2 Diabetes is on the rise, primarily due to the increased instances of obesity in younger generations. You can reduce your child’s risk of developing Diabetes by helping him or her make exercise and healthy eating part of his or her day-to-day habit.


Tips to minimize the development of Diabetes

Here are some small steps you can take with your kids that will go a long way in the prevention of Type 2 Diabetes.

  • Be active. Teach your children that it’s important to set aside time each day to go outside to get fresh air and exercise. Consider signing your children up for organized activities that will not only help them stay active for a longer period of time, but also help them with their social development.
  • Support healthy eating habits. Giving your child healthy alternatives to snacks that are high in sugar or fat can help ensure that your child is getting the proper nutrition he or she needs. It’s equally important to establish a routine of eating a nutritious breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day.
  • Visit the doctor. Keep up to date with your child’s annual physical. There is a genetic component to Diabetes, so it’s critical to discuss your family’s history with Diabetes when you visit with your child’s doctor.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking tobacco can put anyone at a higher risk of Diabetes. Limit your child’s exposure to smoking to avoid second-hand smoke, which can put them at greater risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. If you smoke, consider quitting—children tend to mimic their parents’ actions, so you can help decrease the chances of your child becoming a smoker in the future.

By making good eating habits and exercise part of your daily routine, you can help your family lead a more healthy and active lifestyle, and decrease the chance of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

Sources

American Heart Association, "Diabetes Basics," accessed January 31, 2014, http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/symptoms/.

CNN, "Surgeon general links colon cancer, diabetes to smoking," accessed March 3, 2014, http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/17/health/surgeon-general-report/.

Harvard School of Public Health, "Preventing Diabetes," accessed March 3, 2014, http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/diabetes-prevention/.

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