The risk factors of children for developing diabetes include poor nutrition in children, lack of adequate physical activity, and excess weight. Type 2 diabetes is one of the most serious conditions in children, but it is preventable with certain lifestyle modifications. Diabetes in children due to poor nutrition can be prevented with increased intake of fruits and vegetables, more of physical activity, and sticking to foods that are low in calories but high in nutrition. [Read: Management of Type 2 Diabetes in Children]
High glucose intake along with the overweight condition is the most common culprit of diabetes in children. Type 2 diabetes, which is the most common form of the disease in children, is a condition of insulin resistance primarily. As there is resistance to insulin processing in the body, the cells respond slowly to the signal of insulin. Now, it is insulin which brings about the absorption of glucose into body cells, resistance to it results in more of glucose in the bloodstream. [Read: Nutrition Facts for Kids with Diabetes]
As pancreas releases the insulin normally but its uptake into cells is restricted, it results in high blood glucose. Thus, it is evident that if the child would go on eating sugary foods, it would disrupt the normal functioning of the body and take the blood glucose to abnormally high levels. In some cases, the insulin producing cells get so overworked by producing it in large quantities that they burn out and cease to perform their function.
The fact that poor nutrition is responsible for diabetes in children is clear from the fact that obesity, a condition brought about by overeating, makes it difficult for cells to respond to insulin. According to the American Heart Association of the USA, the number of obese children is thrice of what it was in 1963 in the country. A simple strategy of maintaining health by losing weight helps to prevent the onset of diabetes. The risk is lowered by 58 per cent according to The Diabetes Prevention Program. That is why the main emphasis of diabetes prevention in children and other people should be to enable the child grow tall instead of fat. [Read: Relation between Obesity and Diabetes]
Poor eating habits that children learn most often at home is the primary reason behind them becoming overweight. Parents should take note of the fact that children whose parents are obese are 80 per cent likely to turn out obese. So, if your favourite foods are fatty, processed, sugary snacks and colas, there is a distinct risk of you becoming overweight, leading to type 2 diabetes. [Read: Effects of Type 2 Diabetes on Children]
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