Your child’s physical health begins at home. By providing healthier food choices and encouraging plenty of activity, you can help your child avoid serious problems later in life. Conditions like Type 2 diabetes are impacted by diet and exercise in early life, so start young to promote life-long health.
At Dr. Soos Pediatrics, Gyula Soos, MD, FAAP provides compassionate, caring support for pediatric patients and their families in the Dublin, Georgia area. To protect your child from developing Type 2 diabetes, follow these helpful tips from Dr. Soos.
Understanding Type 1 versus Type 2 diabetes
In people with diabetes, the production and function of the hormone insulin doesn’t happen normally. Insulin allows your body to use glucose as fuel, turning sugar from foods into energy so you can move, think, and maintain full-body function. For diabetics, glucose and blood sugar can become complicated rollercoasters that have to be carefully managed.
Diabetes comes in two distinct types. If you have Type 1 diabetes, it’s not possible to cure your condition, only manage your blood sugar levels. However, Type 2 diabetes can be avoided, delayed, and even fully recovered from through lifestyle changes around diet and exercise. Major risk factors for Type 2 diabetes are:
- Excessive weight gain
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Genetic predisposition
While Type 2 diabetes was formerly found mostly in adults, the frequency of weight issues in US children have made Type 2 diabetes an increasingly common diagnosis for them as well.
Steps to take
If your child is at risk of Type 2 diabetes, there’s a lot you can do to help. Making changes in your family’s diet and exercise habits can make a real difference, although genetic factors will still remain. Even moderate weight loss will lower your child’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
For healthy weight loss, pay attention to providing nutritious foods and engaging in physical activities. Work with your child to brainstorm healthier foods and activities they may be interested in or enjoy. Aim for at least 60 minutes of activity every day, and limit sugary foods and beverages. Instead, choose nutrient-rich, low-fat foods, putting together balanced daily meals and snacks. Try:
- Whole-grain bread and cereals
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Appropriate portions of dairy and lean proteins
Dr. Soos can recommend some good options, taking your child’s preferences and your family’s needs into account. It’s important to talk to a doctor about your concerns around your child’s diabetes risk so you can receive the best information and advice for your unique situation.
To discuss your child’s risk of Type 2 diabetes with Dr. Soos, schedule an appointment with him today. You can book over the phone, or with the online tool.