Healthy Children - October 2012


Help Prevent Type II Diabetes

Prediabetes and type II diabetes are on the rise among America’s youth. Both conditions are linked to obesity and being overweight. If not managed, diabetes can cause vision problems, heart disease, nerve damage, and kidney problems.

Some kids are more likely to get diabetes. Certain ethnic groups and families are prone to develop this disease. However, fast food and lack of exercise have increased the problem for everyone.

What can we do to reduce the risk of diabetes? Exercise or diet alone is not enough. Kids must eat healthy food and exercise daily. But doctors say children need their parents’ help.

Experts advise parents to focus on family health rather than a program for an obese child. Families can develop a healthy lifestyle-together.

  • Promote exercise by being active together. Take a walk. Bike. Play the active Wii games or an outside game of basketball-HORSE! Each season offers a chance for families to “play together.”
  • Help each of your kids find an exercise they really like. One child may like bowling. Another may love to play soccer. These exercises are in addition to the family exercise. Work up to 60 minutes of daily exercise.
  • Talk about healthy snacks and calories. An extra 100 calories a day leads to a 10 pound weight gain in one year.
  • Think before you eat. Eat what you need. Make healthy choices. Do not diet.
  • Offer small servings of dessert at the end of a meal, but not every day.
  • Drink water before every meal. Avoid high calorie drinks that fail to provide nutrition.
  • Choose only healthy foods during shopping trips. Limit your child’s funds that can buy fast food and other junk.


Help your child get and stay in control with his food and exercise choices. Set an example. Correct bad health habits, one at a time.

Cutting calories is easier with one choice at a time. Teach your child how to read food labels. Start with calories. Let him find a phone app for calorie lists. He can decide how to cut out 100-200 calories a day.

  • 1 ice cream sandwich=180 calories
  • 1 soda or fruit drink=150 calories
  • 1 bag of chips=150-200 calories
  • 1 large fry=500 calories
  • 1 small fry=230 calories


Reprinted from