Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood sugar is too high. There are two different kinds of diabetes. Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the pancreas does not produce enough insulin. Insulin is needed to allow glucose to enter the cells to produce energy. Type 2 diabetes develops gradually. It is unique in that it is caused by a built-up insulin resistance. Type 2 diabetes is more commonly developed in middle aged people, however rising prediabetes numbers in adolescents shows otherwise.
Adolescents at risk of diabetes
1 in 5 American adolescents are prediabetic and at a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. That level is higher than ever before! Some kids are developing type 2 diabetes as young as 10 years old. 1/3 of Americans are overweight and the obesity epidemic is increasing. Obesity is extremely connected to type 2 diabetes.
A Fox News article explained more about this epidemic. “A 2012 study predicted that the prevalence and incidence of type 2 diabetes in US adolescents is expected to quadruple in the next decades, so monitoring prediabetes incidence and prevalence rates is an important part of keeping America’s youngest demographic healthy.”
Factors that increase prediabetes
This recent rise in prediabetes levels in young adults can be attributed to increasingly sedentary lifestyles. Many teens are increasingly sedentary and start to gain weight because of it.
Factors that increase prediabetes in young adults include:
- Lack of exercise
- Unhealthy diet
- Processed foods
- Lots of sugar
Ways to prevent diabetes
Later in the Fox News article it explains how lifestyle changes might affect young adults at risk of diabetes. “But many studies on the effectiveness of intervention methods among adult populations at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes have proven that the disease can be prevented or at least delayed with lifestyle modifications, such as changing diet and exercising regularly. This presents hope that similar lifestyle interventions could reverse the trend of increasing numbers of prediabetic adolescents and young adults, but no such similar studies have been performed in the adolescent population.”
Rising prediabetes numbers in adolescents may seem alarming, but there are many ways to prevent it. The best ways to prevent type 2 diabetes include:
- Watch your weight
- Exercise every day
- Cut sugar from your diet
- Drink water instead of any other drink
- Quit smoking
- Watch your portions
- Eat lots of fiber
- Minimize your intake of processed foods