Saturday, January 26, 2013

Guest Post: Resolving to Avoid Type 2 Diabetes in Children

by Carolyn of

Type 2 Diabetes is, sadly, a common disease among adults. However, I was shocked to find out how many of today’s children are facing this horrible disease, too!  Last November was American Diabetes Month and was also the same month that my family found out that one of my little cousins was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. 

We were shocked. 

I knew she had been struggling with her weight for some time, but I never realized that a 13 year old could develop this disease. After doing some serious research on the subject, however, I found that Type 2 in kids is becoming very common. In fact, according to St. Joseph’s Hospital Cardiac Center, 1 in 3 of today’s kids are diagnosed with obesity (the main factor in Type 2), with a majority of them also having a Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis.

The realization that my young cousin now has to take daily insulin shots scared the other children in our family. To make sure nobody else in the family had to face this disease, we decided to make changes in our lifestyle. With the New Year upon us, it was easy to define our resolutions: eating a healthier, more nutritional diet and more regular physical activities throughout the week.

Following that healthy and nutritional diet I mentioned…
Eating well is one of the biggest ways to combat Type 2 Diabetes. It's time to get rid of the junk food and sugary snacks, the soda and sugary juices that actually aren’t healthy. Instead, replace unhealthy snack options with fresh fruits and veggies cut up into fun shapes and paired with hummus and other creative and healthy dips. For drink options, try having kids drink milk (your doctor should be able to advise on what kind of milk is best for your child) and water – since water can be “boring,” try adding in some different fruits or cut-up cucumbers for added flavor.

Low-sugar cereals are good for munching, and can added to yogurt for some extra crunch. When it comes to meal-planning, the plate should be broken up into lean meats (such as turkey, salmon, and chicken), good carbs (such as brown rice and whole wheat products), and half the plate should be fruits and non-starchy veggies.

If good foods are there for the taking, everyone will be forced to make better choices.

Oh yeah, the exercise part!
My family tends to sit around too much. It was time to get up and move
! We decided the best way to start was to go for a walk every day. Someone new would pick the route each day for variety. We also try to plan some weekend adventures, going hiking, heading to an indoor swimming pool, and trying out cross-country skis this winter. With everyone becoming more health conscious, and being active each day, we are helping create healthy habits that can last them – and the rest of us – a lifetime!

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

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