How to prevent type 2 diabetes in children?
Obesity and physical inactivity are causing that more children and teenagers suffer from type 2 diabetes, whose cases are growing worldwide. It is necessary to take measures to inculcate healthy eating habits from childhood, as we know the relationship between both diseases and influence that has a healthy diet in prevention.
Obesity and type 2 diabetes
Andoni Lorenzo, President of the Spanish Federation of Diabetes, answered in this interview to the question of the causes of diabetes rise worldwide: The main cause is our lifestyle. Every time we eat worse, do less exercise and there isn´t a social awareness of a disease that has become a worldwide pandemia.
In that same interview, Lorenzo emphasized the importance of the diagnosis for the prevention of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. In Spain, 40% of people with type 2 diabetes are undiagnosed and that means more than 2 million people. It is therefore essential to monitor and anticipate a possible diagnosis.
The number in adults is already worrying, and the increasing numbers of diabetes in children makes necessary to take action now.
Which children are at greater risk of having type 2 diabetes?
There are several factors that increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in early ages:
- Suffering from overweight and obesity.
- Leading a sedentary lifestyle and have no physical activity.
- Have a history of diabetes in parents or siblings.
- Be ascentry African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Asian or Pacific Islander.
- If the mother suffered from gestational diabetes.
There are a lot for news about this a problem that threatens our health and whose impact in boys and girls has made alarm bells ringing:
Epidemic of obesity in Europe
- 2030 three out of four Europeans will be overweight, according to a study
- In Spain will be similar, with 70% of overweight people and 30% obese
«An increase of obesity clearly leads to more chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, so measures to increase physical activity and improved diet are very important»
European children with a disease of older people
Since few years is happening an unheard phenomenon in Europe: children suffering a typical disease of older people. There is an epidemic of type 2 diabetes, the most common variant of this disease, because of the radical change in the style of life in industrialized societies and the fatness among children, young people and adults worsened by junk food and sugary drinks.
How to prevent diabetes type 2 during childhood?
The best way to prevent type 2 diabetes in childhood is promoting children to:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Follow a balanced diet: where are plenty of fruits and vegetables and avoiding the consumption of sugar and saturated fats (avoid sugary drinks and processed food)
- Keep on an active lifestyle: physical activity on a regular basis (60 minutes a day, according to the World Health Organization)
So these habits remain in time, and as children learn by imitation, it is important that family promote this healthy lifestyle.
Itziar M. Ceberio
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