How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes in Children

Type 2 diabetes is most commonly associated with adults, but in recent years the number of children diagnosed with the disease has increased. A person with type 2 diabetes produces insulin, but his or her body does not respond to it in a normal fashion, which causes difficulty in maintaining blood sugar levels. Many children with diabetes have a family history of disease, and most that develop type 2 diabetes are overweight. There are many things that can be done to prevent diabetes in children. Here is how to prevent type 2 diabetes in children.


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    Help your child maintain a healthy weight with healthy food choices.
    • Avoid unhealthy foods such as soft drinks, chips and candy.
    • Encourage your child to drink plenty of water.
    • Keep healthy foods on hand for snacks and lunches, including low fat milk, nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables and whole-grain breads or crackers.
    • Be sure your child gets enough fiber by choosing cereals with at least 6 grams of fiber per serving and choosing whole grain breads and pastas.
    • Encourage your child to eat five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day.
    • Set a good example by having the entire family eat healthy meals and snacks.
    • Plan meals ahead of time in order to create healthy menus throughout the week.
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    Help your child maintain a healthy weight with regular exercise.
    • Children and teens should be active at least 60 minutes each day, most days of every week.
    • Take daily walks or bike rides with your children to get them interested in physical activity.
    • Limit television, computer and video game times to less than two hours each day.
    • Assign chores that keep children active and moving.
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    Keep up with regular checkups with your child's health care provider.
    • Bring your child in to his or her physician for regularly scheduled wellness appointments.
    • If you worry your child is overweight, ask your pediatrician for advice before beginning any new diet or exercise program or regime.


  • Assure your child is at a healthy weight for his or her height by having your pediatrician check your child's body mass index or BMI. A child at a healthy weight will have a BMI between the 5th and 85th percentile.
  • Children born to mothers that had gestational diabetes during pregnancy have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. If your child's mother had gestational diabetes, ask your pediatrician to perform a diabetes screening.
  • Signs of type 2 diabetes in children include increased urinating frequency, increased thirst, and tiredness. The higher levels of glucose in the blood elevate the volume of urine in the body; frequent urination increases thirst; and children tire easily because the body isn't using glucose for energy properly.
  • If you see signs of type 2 diabetes in your child, visit your pediatrician for testing. Type 2 diabetes can be managed with diet and exercise, but tends become worse over time, so it is important to detect signs early and follow your physician's advice for managing the disease closely.

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Categories: Childhood Health