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5 Things You Can Do If You Don't Want Your Kids to Develop Diabetes

5 Things You Can Do If You Don't Want Your Kids to Develop Diabetes

An estimated 283,000 American youth under age 20 have diagnosed diabetes, which is about .35% of that population.

Youth-onset diabetes is linked to several health complications, including eye disease, kidney disease, and nerve damage. With the rising prevalence of diabetes, it’s crucial to educate parents about preventive measures. By taking proactive steps, you can significantly reduce the risk of your children developing diabetes. 

One of the top priorities of our experienced team at Summit Primary Care in our four offices in Denver, Colorado Springs, La Junta, and Pueblo, Colorado, is ensuring the well-being of our young patients. Here’s what you can do if you want to help prevent your children from developing diabetes.

1. Encourage physical activity

To reduce your child’s chances of developing diabetes, limit their screen time and encourage more physical activities per day. Encourage them to join sports, bike, swim, or play outside. Physical activity helps their body use insulin better and decreases insulin resistance, among other benefits like improving mental health.

2. Provide and encourage a balanced diet

Help your child consume a balanced diet of vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and fruit, and limit sugary beverages, fast food, and processed foods. Swap unhealthy snack options like potato chips and cookies with yogurt, fruit, vegetables, or nuts. You can involve your child in meal planning and grocery shopping to help instill healthy eating habits early on.

3. Encourage portion control

People who are overweight are more likely to have insulin resistance, which is a major risk factor for developing Type 2 diabetes. When someone is insulin resistant, their cells don’t respond normally to the insulin hormone the pancreas makes. Over time, the pancreas makes more insulin to try to get the cells to respond and take in blood sugar, but eventually, the pancreas can’t keep up, and blood sugar levels rise.

Teaching your children about appropriate portion sizes and mindful eating practices can help prevent overeating and foster healthy habits.

4. Provide sugar awareness education

It’s important to help your child understand the impact of excessive sugar consumption and the importance of reading food labels to distinguish between natural and added sugars. Understanding how to read a label enables them to make better choices and reduce their sugar intake.

5. Prioritize annual physicals

Ensure your child visits us at Summit Primary Care according to the recommended schedule for childhood doctor visits. Everyone should have an annual physical with their health care provider so our team can monitor the child’s growth, development, and overall health. Keeping up with routine screenings allows for early detection and can identify potential risk factors for diabetes. 

Preventing diabetes in children involves nutrition, exercise, education, and regular health care. We aim to educate and empower you as a parent to make positive changes for your child's health. 

To learn more about how to help prevent diabetes in your child, call us at the nearest office to you or schedule an appointment online today.

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