NC – One in three Canadian children born in 2000 will be diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes in his or her lifetime, according to the Canadian Diabetes Association, and the number of kids with type 2 diabetes has been increasing steadily.
Type 2 diabetes is often brought on by an unhealthy body weight and inactivity. As many as 30 percent of Canadian youngsters are obese or overweight, says Dr. Shazhan Amed, a pediatric endocrinologist at B.C Children’s Hospital and clinical assistant professor at the University of British Columbia. She adds that 95 percent of those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are overweight.
But the disease can be prevented before it sets in. “Obesity is preventable,” says Amed, “therefore, type 2 diabetes can be a preventable condition.”
Your child may be at risk if he or she:
• Consumes an unhealthy diet;
• Has a sedentary, inactive lifestyle;
• Spends too much time in front of a TV, computer or video game screen;
• Has a strong genetic link, such as a parent with the disease;
• Is part of a high-risk ethnic group, such as Southeast Asian or First Nations.
You can lead by example:
• Don’t talk about dieting. Instead, offer cut-up veggies and fruit in lieu of chips, pastries and sweets.
• Skip the juice and pop. Milk and water are the best options.
• Work exercise into the daily routine, through walks, playing tag in a schoolyard, riding a bike, raking leaves, etc.
• Limit screen time.
Playing a leadership role in slowing the advance of type 2 diabetes and its related complications, Sun Life Financial answers your questions about diabetes on its website, BrighterLife.ca.