Lowering the Risk for Type 2 Diabetes in Teens
As obesity rates in children continue to soar, type 2 diabetes,
a disease that used to be seen primarily in adults over age 45,
is now being diagnosed in young people. Being overweight increases
the risk for type 2 diabetes.
Balintfy: As obesity rates in children continue to soar, type 2 diabetes, a disease that used to be seen primarily in adults over age 45, is now being diagnosed in young people. Being overweight increases the risk for type 2 diabetes.
Kaufman: It's a huge risk factor for a number of health issues.
Balintfy: Dr. Francine Kaufman is the chair elect for the National Diabetes Education Program. She says type 2 diabetes used to be almost confined to grandparents.
Kaufman: Then it marched down to our parents and then to young adults and now it's marched down to children as well.
Balintfy: Dr. Kaufman adds that there is a hereditary link.
Kaufman: You'd be hard-pressed to find a child. who doesn't have at least a second degree relative with type 2 diabetes.
Balintfy: Race-ethnicity is also a factor. But Dr. Kaufman advises that teens and parents take steps to reduce risk by eating healthy diets and being more active.
Kaufman: The main thing is really to focus on these healthy lifestyle habits. When you do that, not only does weight get better, but so does the cholesterol problems and high blood pressure problems so it really, it has a marked effect on insulin resistance in addition.
Balintfy: To start a healthy lifestyle, Dr. Kaufman recommends 30 minutes of exercise regularly.
Kaufman: But children really need about 60 minutes of physical activity. Every day would be great, a goal for five times a week, and, in addition, you know, they've got to kind of sweat. We tell them if they're having trouble talking, that's the kind of physical activity we really would promote.
Balintfy: Regarding healthy eating, Dr. Kaufman says there are lots of tips, like eating fruits and vegetables, choosing lean meats and skim milk instead of whole milk.
Kaufman: One of the things we almost always focus on first is stopping drinking calories. So we promote water instead of sweetened beverages, including juice. I mean I think a lot people think that juice is healthy for them. Juice is really, for the most part, concentrated sugar. We'd rather see everybody eat a piece of fruit rather than have fruit juice.Balintfy: Dr. Kaufman stresses that there are many more tips and much more information available from the National Diabetes Education Program. For details on combating teen obesity and reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, visit www.yourdiabetesinfo.org or cal toll-free 1-888-693-NDEP. This is Joe Balintfy, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Joe Balintfy
Sound Bite: Dr. Francine Kaufman, NDEP, NIDDK
Topic: type 2 diabetes, obesity, teen