(CARLSBAD, CA) – “Mom, can I have a cookie?” Before you answer “yes” to this question the next time it comes around, you may want to think about the long-term effects, beyond cookie crumbs on the carpet or teeth that need brushing. Kids are getting heavier every year in America, and dozens of health complications are accompanying the weight gain.
Type-2 diabetes is one of the most serious maladies to attack kids of this generation. Type-2 diabetes used to be known as “adult onset” diabetes. That’s because the condition was once confined to adults. But, the obesity epidemic across the nation has brought on type-2 diabetes to kids of younger ages each year.
Health complications that result from diabetes are impossible to ignore. Diabetes increases children’s risk of heart and blood vessel disorders, nerve damage, kidney damage, eyesight problems, osteoporosis, even skin problems. Diabetes complications, which include coronary artery disease, can become disabling, even life-threatening.
The good news is that prevention of type-2 diabetes in children is entirely possible, with a few key lifestyle changes. Being overweight is the top risk factor for a child to develop type-2 diabetes. If a child has excess fatty tissue, then his or her cells become resistant to insulin. Help your child make lifestyle changes that can shed a few extra pounds, and you may ward off diabetes altogether.
So, how can you help your child to cut the fat? The two main ingredients in any weight-loss recipe are eating healthy foods and getting more physical activity. Replace sugary snacks with fruits and vegetables. Take a walk after dinner each evening. Even thirty minutes of exercise on a daily basis can make a significant difference. Jazzercise Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett recommends finding an activity that your child enjoys. That way, it won’t be a battle getting your child to move.
Changes in diet and exercise will produce results. A study by the Diabetes Prevention Program shows that diet and exercise actually work better than medication in delaying the development of diabetes. Getting active for 30 minutes per day and reducing body weight by 5-10 percent caused a 58 percent reduction in diabetes in study participants.
Talk with your children about the health concerns related to overeating and inactivity. Make small changes each day. And who knows? Maybe your child will ask, “Mom, can I have spinach tonight?”
Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is the world's leading dance-fitness program with more than 7,500 instructors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in the U.S. and around the globe. Since 1969, millions of people of all ages and fitness levels have reaped the benefits of this comprehensive program, designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.