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Primary Prevention in Children With Diabetes

written by: Bobby Mathew • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 3/14/2011

What is the primary prevention in children with diabetes? There are a number of causes of the illness. But one factor plays the largest role in the incidence of this condition in children today. Find out the best way to prevent diabetes in your children before it's too late.

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    In order to find out the primary prevention in children with diabetes we need to find out what the primary cause is. However, there are so many causes of diabetes in children that it may help to explore all of them before singling out the major cause. From there we can find out the primary way in which diabetes can be prevented in children.

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    Common Causes

    Type 1 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes among children. In type 1 diabetes, a person's body stops making insulin or only makes a very little bit of it. The cause is generally unknown. Nonetheless, scientists speculate that genetics are largely involved. They believe that some unknown factor causes the white blood cells to attack the insulin producing cells of the pancreas. Scientist are still finding out how to prevent this form of diabetes.

    Type 2 diabetes has a number of causes in children. Type 2 diabetes is largely genetic like type 1 diabetes. Kids of parents who both have diabetes have a high chance of developing the illness. However there are other things that you must keep in mind.

    Kids consume the most amounts of refined carbohydrates, sugars and high-fructose corn syrup that come in the form of snacks and junk foods. Refined carbohydrates enter the blood stream rapidly, much like sugar, raising one's blood glucose levels to dangerous levels. Overtime, diabetes develops from a result of this. High-fructose corn syrup is strongly linked to the development of diabetes as well. Furthermore, we have a generation of kids that prefer to sit in front of a TV or computer. This all contributes to one major factor that causes type 2 diabetes in children - childhood obesity.

    If you were to attribute any single thing to the rise in type 2 diabetes among children it would have to be obesity. One third of the nation's children are overweight. Obesity rates among children have tripled in the last 30 years. The rate at which children are diagnosed with diabetes has gone up in proportion to this. It's a scientific fact that body fat, especially around the midsection, interferes with the body's ability to maintain blood sugar. Therefore the primary prevention in children with diabetes would have to be the elimination of obesity. Obesity in children is usually the effect of the poor dietary habits and lack of physical activity mentioned above.

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    What Can We Do to Solve This Problem?

    The truth is, when it comes to the primary prevention in children with diabetes, there is a lot that we can do, at least in the case of type 2 diabetes. We must encourage our kids to lead a healthier lifestyle. This way we can eliminate obesity, a major contributor to type 2 diabetes in children. A combination of eating right and staying active is the best thing kids can do to avoid this illness.

    Kids should eat a diet based mostly on plant foods. This means whole grains, fruits and vegetables. They should avoid junk foods, snacks and deserts. While kids do need to grow, they shouldn't overeat. Strictly limiting visits to fast-food restaurants is also a good idea.

    Let's not forget to be active. The ADA recommends that kids spend no more than 2 hours a day in front of the TV or computer. Kids should also have active chores, since that would help them burn calories in the process. Riding a bike or walking to school, if it's nearby, is also a good choice for children who want to avoid diabetes. And of course, exercise is crucial. Sports is likely to be the best choice, since it takes more willpower to exercise alone.

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