Type 2 Diabetes Prevention in Children

More and more children are being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Unlike the more rare Type 1 diabetes, which is caused by a faulty pancreas and is unavoidable, Type 2 diabetes is usually brought about by a combination of genetics and lifestyle habits.

While you might not be able to do anything about genetics, parents can certainly work on the lifestyle habits. Here are some tips.

Healthy Diet

Introduce your child to a healthy diet at an early age. Lean meats, lots of vegetables and fruits as well as complex carbohydrates are what your child needs to thrive. Keep in mind, it’s easier to just not start bad habits than it is to break them—so nix the sodas, candy, and chips. Who needs it?

Talk to your doctor about your child's caloric requirements to make sure your portion sizes are accurate.

Keep Them Busy

Activity is very important, especially in this day and age of on-screen entertainment. Children spend far too much time sitting and playing with video games or computerized toys. Your kids should be active for at least 90 minutes per day-- make it a family bonding exercise. Go hiking together, play ball in the yard after dinner, or take up bike riding.

Watch Their Weight

Weight is a major contributor to Type 2 diabetes. Keep a check on your child's weight to ensure they are at a healthy weight for their height. If not, talk to a nutritionist to see what you can do.

By taking preventative action from the time they are young, you might be able to help your kids side-step diabetes altogether. They'll develop good habits that they'll carry with them through their lives.

Photo: Politiken