According to the New England Journal of Medicine, April 2018, overweight children can prevent developing Type 2 diabetes by reducing their weight to a normal healthy weight before they reach puberty.
Scientists at the University of Copenhagen and several other research facilities in Copenhagen compared 62,565 Danish men whose height and weight were measured at ages 17, 13, and between 17 and 26 years of age. Links were found between being overweight at the time of each measurement, and measurements at later times were more strongly linked …
- men who lost their excess weight before 13 years of age had the same chance of developing Type 2 diabetes as men who had never been overweight.
- men who had been obese at age 7 and again at 13 years of age, had a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes than men who had never been overweight.
- being overweight at age 7 raised the risk of Type 2 diabetes if the excess weight measurement continued into puberty or later age.
Bringing down the weight in an obese child need not always involve lowering their weight because children naturally grow taller, allowing them height to catch up with their weight. Pediatricians can provide charts showing typical growth rates of both height and weight through childhood.
With younger children parents can control what food is available, limiting sweets and providing fruit and vegetables for snacks. Making diet and exercise fun can help weight adjustments be less onerous …
- take a bicycle trip with the whole family to help burn excess fat.
- make healthy foods that are also fun to eat.
My friend's mother used to make “snowmen” using a scoop of cottage cheese on the center of a dish. Then she would lay two carrots and two celery down, sticking them out of the cheese for arms and legs. A half peach would make up the head and raisins would become the face.
Another help is to set reasonable goals for weight loss. One to four pounds a month will keep your child from becoming discouraged …
- a visit to the dietitian will help children learn which foods are helpful for weight loss and which ones are not.
- a food diary can be an aide to children old enough to read. Compare days as to which foods were ateen to make the diary a learning experience. Why not help your child find pictures to cut out of fruit and vegetables to glue into the diary to make it a little bit more fun.