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Can Type 2 Diabetes in Children Be Prevented?

Thursday, Jan 16, 2014

Our diabetes educator says it can, but it takes some thought -- and action.

In the past decade, the number of children in the United States with type 2 diabetes—previously known as adult-onset diabetes—increased more than 20 percent. The major reason for this dramatic rise is, unfortunately, no mystery.

"Childhood obesity is rampant, and that is one important risk factor," says Pat Trymbiski, director of Doylestown Health’s Diabetes Services and Outpatient Nutrition Services. "When you add a family history of diabetes, even gestational diabetes in the mother, the risk of a child developing type 2 diabetes is overwhelming."

Researchers have found that type 2 diabetes may progress more rapidly in children than in adults, with consequences of the disease appearing at an alarmingly young age. In one study of children just four years after diagnosis, 33 percent had high blood pressure, 17 percent showed early signs of kidney damage, and 13 percent had early signs of eye disease.

The good news is that type 2 diabetes in children is almost always preventable, with prevention often being a family affair. Making nutritious food choices, being physically active for at least 30 minutes a day, and maintaining a healthy weight are habits that can benefit everyone.

Tips to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

  • Make nutritious food choices
  • Fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains
  • Avoid processed foods
  • Physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day
  • Maintain a healthy weight

"Fresh fruit, vegetables, and whole grains are great food choices," says Pat, adding that it’s best to avoid processed food. "Processed food can be high in fat, sodium, and sugar. That's why it’s important to read labels and make informed decisions. And when it comes to preventing type 2 diabetes in your children, every decision matters."

Doylestown Health Diabetes Education Location

The Pavilion at Doylestown Hospital
599 West State Street, Suite 212
Doylestown, PA 18901

Dietitians with Doylestown Health’s Nutrition Services offer individual nutrition counseling for children, teens and adults at The Pavilion at Doylestown Hospital.

Doylestown Health’s Nutrition Services offers personalized nutrition plans for those with a current medical condition or those interested in preventive health and weight loss.

For information about any of the Diabetes Education programs, please call 215-345-2168.

About Doylestown Health's Diabetes Services

Doylestown Health Diabetes Services is committed to providing patients and their families with the highest quality care. Our skilled team offers a wide array of services, including diabetes medication management, continuous glucose monitoring, support groups and education classes. We take a collaborative approach to care, working with specialists in various disciplines to deliver personalized treatment, designed to meet each individual's needs.

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