Diabetes Prevention: It's All in the Family
Every family passes something down - your grandmother's wedding band, Uncle Joe's lucky tackle box, an older brother's clothes. Did you know you can even pass down a tendency to develop diabetes? Family history is one of the leading risk factors for this serious disease. And it isn't all in the genes. Lifestyle plays a decisive role, too.
A growing epidemic
More than 25 million Americans have diabetes. Experts speculate that by 2050 one in three adults in the U.S. could have the condition. This epidemic is spurred in part by a population that's aging and gaining weight. People most at risk for type 2 diabetes are older than age 45, are overweight or obese, and have a close family member with the disease.
The epidemic doesn't stop with adults, though. Type 2 diabetes has taken root among the country's youth. More children are being diagnosed with this disease than ever before. In fact, for the first time ever, the American Academy of Pediatrics, along with other health organizations, has released guidelines for treating children with type 2 diabetes.
Why are more children developing the disease? Family history, along with obesity, is at the core. Some people inherit a proclivity for type 2 diabetes. In that way, genetics certainly factors into continuing the diabetes dilemma. But it's also about upbringing. Children tend to learn bad habits, such as shunning physical activity or eating a fat-filled diet, from parents and other close family members.
Not an inevitable disease
Even if you have a family history of type 2 diabetes, you're not destined to develop the disease. You can do a lot to keep you and your family healthy. It's all about striving for a healthier lifestyle. Sprinkle in some daily physical activity; cook up some nutritious food. Your children will follow your lead, so be a proponent of living diabetes-free.
Here are some tips to get the whole family involved in diabetes prevention:
Want more ideas on how to prevent type 2 diabetes in your family? This article can help.
Always talk with your health care provider to find out more information.
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