Answer: While genetics plays a role in type 2 diabetes, you can lower the odds of your children developing the disease. Diabetes may run in families, but so do poor eating and exercise habits. Eating right and moving more can help prevent or delay diabetes for the rest of your family. It will also help you control your own diabetes.
- Follow MyPlate. Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables. Divide the other half evenly between lean protein and whole grains. Add a serving of fat-free or low-fat milk or other dairy product.
- Cut out sugary drinks like soda and sports drinks.
- Limit sweets and desserts. Remember, these are treats, not every-day foods.
- Limit screen time. Turn the TV off when you’re eating meals and snacks.
- Get moving as a family. Try taking a walk after dinner.
- Children should be active for 60 minutes per day. A 20 minute walk, 20 minutes on the playground, and 20 minutes helping with housework adds up to a day’s worth of activity.
Experts predict that one third of today’s kids will develop type 2 diabetes at some point in their lives. Take action now to decrease your children’s chance of becoming a statistic.
By Hollis Bass, MEd, RD, LD
Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.