Type 2 Diabetes – Weighing the Risk

By: Shane Power, President of Watertree Health

Type 2 diabetes is becoming an increasingly common diagnosis for America’s children, but this wasn’t always the case. In fact, this form of diabetes, often associated with being overweight, was veryteam sports rare as recently as a decade ago. Today, children with Type 2 Diabetes are overwhelming the health care systems of rural and urban areas alike. 

Unlike Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes, Type 2 has a direct correlation to weight and fitness. As a former athlete, being active has always been a huge part of my life. I firmly believe a lifetime commitment to good health develops during childhood. In addition to team sports at school, simply going to the park or running around the yard can have a positive contribution to the health of a child. 

Nutrition is also a huge factor in children developing Type 2 Diabetes. As someone who has watched family members struggle with diabetes, I understand how challenging it can be to always make good health choices. Additionally, as a father I am all too aware of how overly processed, sugar rich and nutrient deficient foods are marketed to children. While a sugary treat once in a while is appropriate; sodas, fast food, chips, and candy should not be staples of a child’s diet. Moreover, parents need to instill and model healthy eating habits to their children. Leading a busy life, it is easy to quickly resort to pre-packaged or fast food meals and snacks. But when you examine how detrimental these foods can be to a child’s health, especially if they are already overweight and at risk for a condition like diabetes, moderation is essential.

Ultimately it is in everyone’s best interest to stay as healthy and active as possible. Type 2 Diabetes is not the only ailment associated with being overweight. Heart disease, osteoarthritis and certain cancers have all been linked to obesity. When adults adopt healthy habits and promote a cycle of good health, it is transmissible to their children. 

Type 2 Diabetes, while manageable with medication, is currently incurable. Studies have shown that lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise, can reverse the condition. For children, prevention is key. 

For more information on Type 2 Diabetes please visit: http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/parents-and-kids/children-and-type-2/

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