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What nutrition and lifestyle changes can the family of a young Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) patient make for a healthy, quality life?

0 3 years ago

The rise of sugar consumption since the 70s has been accompanied by a catastrophic rise in diabetes. Obesity rates have also increased along with excessive sugar intake. Obesity and diabetes share a strong relationship, though obesity alone is not the reason behind the global diabetes disaster.

Recent research has established that T2D disproportionately impacts youth of ethnic and racial minorities in the United States. These ethnic-racial disparities are influenced by the environmental and lifestyle contexts of the patients. Ethnic and racial minority populations are poorer and earn lesser than white households in the U.S. The socioeconomic disparities affect the access to healthy diet, regular exercise opportunities & facilities, and lifestyle interventions for diabetes care.

As with T1D, young T2D diabetics need individualized diabetes care. Children and adolescents with T2D and obesity need to be on a long-term weight management plan; their weight-loss interventions require comprehensive lifestyle changes in nutrition and exercise. They must be encouraged to exercise at least 5 days a week, including strength training for at least thrice a week. Nutrition for T2D diabetics requires decreased intake of sugar and processed food, and regular consumption of nutrient-dense, high-quality foods.

The poorer racial/ethnic minority groups with high incidence and prevalence of T2D in their children and adolescents face multiple mental health adversities due to their low socioeconomic status. Food insecurity, housing and financial issues are key factors affecting the behavioral health of the young T2D diabetics and making it difficult for them to adhere to treatment and diabetes care strategy. The pediatric diabetes providers therefore need to ensure that the child with diabetes and their family “receive comprehensive diabetes self-management education and support that is specific to youth with type 2 diabetes and is culturally competent.”

#Type2Diabetes #Diabetes_Children

Header Photo by Sai De Silva on Unsplash

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