Childhood diabetes has gone ballistic.
In case you missed the story in USA Today, diabetes and pre-diabetes have dramatically jumped in just the past decade. According to a study just published in the journal Pediatrics, there’s cause for alarm here. From 9% in the year 2000 to a whopping 23% just 8 years later in 2008, the number of U.S. kids with diabetes or it’s earlier version, pre-diabetes, jumped over 250%!
The study’s lead author, epidemiologist Ashleigh May, notes some caution with the exact numbers. The type of blood test they used in the study, the “fasting blood glucose test”, isn’t as accurate over the long term compared with the “A1C” test (also called the “henoglobin A1c” or “HbA1c” test). A1C looks at average blood sugar over several months while the fasting blood sugar is a more “right now” test.
Still, this and other studies show that our kids are at serious risk. Regardless of the exact numbers, childhood diabetes is rising…and rising rapidly.
Our drive-through, high-tech lives have made us a nation of sitters who suck down too many sweets and chow down too many chunk-inducing calories. All of our cool electronics, all of those “screens” – computers, video games, TVs, smart phones – tend to keep us too inactive, sitting still, often munching snacks while we play. We’ve got to change…to help our children. It doesn’t take too much math to see the 2 plus 2 of:
It’s easy to know what’s needed. The hard part is making the commitment to making change and working on that change every…single…day.
Simple always seems to work best for change, so here’s a little short-list that might help you help your kids push back from developing childhood diabetes:
If you’re the parent or caregiver for a child, start to rethink your youngster’s food. The modern American diet (at least what I hear in my office every, single day) consists of mac & cheese, fast foods, sugary drinks of all sorts, pizza, and lots of chips/cookies/sweets.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to cost more, either. In fact, it can cost less! A recent report from the USDA shows that bang-for-buck, healthier foods can make you just as full with far less calories.
Want some great recipes that are yummy and can help? Check out the Diabetes-Friendly Recipes on DiabetesSelfManagement.com. Full of flavor, often easy, and with loads of variety, these recipes can help when your kids have, or help prevent the onset of, diabetes.
Let’s fight childhood diabetes. Let’s get our kids off their bottoms, away from “screens” more, and give them better food choices. Their health, and their lives, depends on it.
Posted – May 22, 2012