Kid Obesity and Adult Diabetes: Alarming Associations

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There are two kinds of diabetes out there: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition commonly seen in children and adolescents, while type 2 diabetes is frequently observed in adults with obesity, high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.


Adults are advised to take care. But what about the kids?



Increased risk of kids being diabetic in the future


In the United States, it is estimated that about 4.1 per 1000 youth aged 12 to 19 have diabetes. In the UK, there were about 745 children and adolescents treated for type 2 diabetes during 2018 to 2019, which was up by nearly half from five years earlier. It is no exaggeration to say that kids are becoming more susceptible to diabetes.


What is wrong?

The root cause of type 2 diabetes may be youth-obesity


It may be linked to obesity, high levels of bad cholesterol and lack of exercises. Couch-potato children with obesity, high levels of bad cholesterol and lack of exercises are at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes.


Moreover, a study published in Diabetes Care suggests that early signs of being more susceptible to type 2 diabetes as an adult can be seen in children as young as 8 years old. Besides, obesity is also associated with metabolic syndrome, which means a cluster of diseases that occur together that increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Thus, it is of vital importance to take early actions.



Control weight to prevent type 2 diabetes in children


Doctors have confirmed that weight control is very helpful to prevent type 2 diabetes and reduce the blood sugar levels. Try to make sure your children:


1) Eat healthy. The most significant thing to remember is avoid foods that are high in calories, such as fast foods and fried foods. The kids should be encouraged to eat with the family.


2) Drink healthy. The kids should avoid drinks or beverages that contain too much sugar (sugary drinks) and soda.



3) Have limited screen time. Sitting or lying too long to watch TV shows and use computers or iPads may lead to immobility and reduced consumption of the calories the kids have taken in.


4) Have more physical activities: Physical activities such as walking and running could help the kids to lose some weight and prevent type 2 diabetes. The World Health Organization recommends a daily physical activity time of at least 1 hour for kids. 


As Dr. Joshua Bell said, “Knowing what these early signs look like widens our window of opportunity to intervene much earlier and stop diabetes before it becomes harmful.” Parents need to pay attention to the kids’ diet and lifestyle. Once you identify an increased risk of your kid being diabetic in the future, try to nip it in the bud. A subtle change in your kid’s lifestyle now may make a huge difference decades later.


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