By Carolyn Fallon
The holiday season is upon us and many families are enjoying their time together. While it is important to create great memories with family and friends, and cherish the moments that we have with one another, we must not forget to maintain a healthy lifestyle through activity and good eating habits.
In light of American Diabetes Month last month and the fact that one of my younger cousins was recently diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, I would like to share a few health tips and information about childhood Type 2 Diabetes so that you can prevent this illness from happening to your own child. According to St. Joseph’s Hospital Cardiac Center, 1 in 3 of today’s kids have been diagnosed with diabetes, and that number continues to grow even now. This is a major problem that demands the attention of today’s families.
While Type 1 Diabetes has always been the most prevalent case of diabetes in children, Type 2 Diabetes has grown in prevalence over the past two decades. It is easy to envision this increase when you think about how children are less active these days, and how bad eating habits have contributed to overweight and obese children. In addition, Type 2 Diabetes is often difficult to detect in young people; symptoms may be subtle and go unnoticed for a long period of time, and blood tests are needed for a proper diagnosis. If your child is overweight or at an increased risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes, be sure to schedule regular check-ups so that it can be detected early and the appropriate treatment measures may be implemented.
During the holiday season, there are many opportunities to remain stagnant and eat unhealthy foods. One way to prevent inactivity in your children and lessen the probability that they will develop Type 2 Diabetes is to model healthy eating and participation in exercise activities yourself. While the kids are out of school, consider going for bike rides or playing other sports together as a family activity. If the weather is chilly, that’s okay; simply doing something together that doesn’t involve sitting around a television or playing a video game will help your children to see that they can have fun without all their gadgets.
In addition, you can model healthy eating behaviors for your children so they will not turn to snacking out of boredom while they are on holiday break. Type 2 Diabetes can be controlled through diet and weight loss, so it is important to instill healthy habits in your children in order to prevent this illness or to regulate it, if it’s acquired.
Carolyn is a 20-something-year-old with a passion for life, fitness and overall well-being. She is an avid cycler, golfer and has been known to bust some serious moves on the dance floor. Check out Carolyn’s blog at http://fullonfit.blogspot.com/!