A Diabetologist (a specialist in treatment of diabetes), Mr Chima Adindu, of the Apex Diabetics Center, Jos, in Plateau state has blamed the rise in Type 2 diabetes among children on poor diet mentality and sedentary lifestyle.
He said that in the past, Type 1 Diabetes was prevalent in children as a result of the child’s body immune system which usually fought harmful bacteria and viruses’ and mistakenly destroyed the insulin producing cells in the pancreas.
According to him, Type 2 diabetes occur mostly in adults; “however the reverse is the case now, as type 2 diabetes is now on the rise among children due to change in diet and more sedentary lifestyles which trigger overweight and obesity”.
The specialist lamented that most children now fed on junk and highly processed foods and were usually inactive, which predisposed them to the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
“Most parents give their children highly processed foods which are usually high in sugar, trans fats and void of fiber, vegetables and fruit,” he said.
He said that such overweight children were more likely to have insulin resistance, which was a major risk factor for Type 2 diabetes.
He called on parents to revert to the traditional meals which were usually high in fiber and consisted of vegetables and to ensure that their children ate more of fruits and vegetables and less processed meals.
The diabetologist further blamed sedentary lifestyle as a factor responsible for the rise in Type 2 diabetes in children.
He said most children left home very early to school and spend about 10 hours to 12 hours in school and they hardly go out for any sporting activity.
He urged parents and schools to ensure that their children engaged in more outdoor activities such as sports to do away with the sedentary way of life.
Adindu also recommended breast feeding to mothers as current researches had shown that babies who were introduced to infant formulas early in life were also susceptible to developing type 1 diabetes.