Identifying Type 2 Diabetes risk factors in Children
As with adults, children also have risk factors and if your children are under their influence, they could have Type 2 Diabetes.
As we know, there are risk factors we can’t change and some that we can; identify which and how many risk factors affect your child:
|Risk factors that can’t be changed||Risk factors that can be changed|
|Having parents, uncles or grandparents with Diabetes||Being overweight and/or obese (check BMI)|
|Weight at birth|
Low weight < 2.5 kg (5.5 lb)
High weight > 3.5 kg (7.7 lb)
|Doing less than 30 minutes of physical activity 3 times a week|
|Being Latin||Drinking over 5 glasses of sugary drinks a day (water with sugar, soft drinks, juices, energy drinks, chocolates, etc.)|
|Being overweight in childhood (years of being overweight)||Sitting for more than 3 hours consecutively in the afternoons|
|If they are now in adolescence||Insulin resistance symptoms (acanthosis nigricans: gray areas in the neck, elbows, armpits or tighs).|
|In girls, polycystic ovary syndrome (Consult your doctor if you have menstruation changes, a lot of acne, too much hair)|
If you think that your child is under Diabetes risk factors, talk to your doctor so he can refer you to a pediatric endocrinologist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of child endocrine system diseases, such as Diabetes and growth disorders, so they can BEGIN REDUCING THOSE RISK FACTORS.
Recommendations to reduce Type 2 Diabetes risk factors in children:
- Limit the child’s sugary drinks and meals – like soft drinks, juices, nectars, sports drinks, etc.
- Being active can be as simple as walking the dog or walking in the park, where the child can accompany you.
- Try to do something to keep both you and your kids active every day.
- Allow the child to choose the physical activity they like.
- Take advantage of any activity and let them be with their friends.
- Encourage your child to take part in a team of football, basketball, volleyball, dancing, etc.
- Wash your bike or the family car with help from your child.
- Encourage any games that include physical activity (cycling, hide and seek, jumping rope, etc.).
- Reduce the time the children spends watching television or playing video games.
- Plan regular trips, weekend walks or hikes in parks, forests or mountains, either in or outside of the city.
- Be an example and show them that physical activity can be fun, and it’s also a great opportunity to bring the family together.
Lic. Rosa Elena Yáñez García
Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator
Mexico / Spain