A startling new study found that 28 percent of 12-to-19-year-olds in the U.S. are prediabetic. Prediabetes in youths has more than doubled in 20 years. The most current research used data from 2018. In 1999, the under was under 12 percent.
Prediabetes is when blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be considered diabetic. Prediabetes has no symptoms. The problem was found to be more common in boys than girls. And they were more likely to be overweight. While medication can reverse prediabetes, lifestyle changes like following a healthy diet, getting more exercise, improving sleep schedule and losing weight can all prevent diabetes from developing.
“These numbers are striking, and it’s pretty clear that, if we don’t do something to bring down these numbers, we are going to see a significant increase in diabetes in the United States,” said study co-author Junxiu Liu assistant professor at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “Parents and others responsible for children’s diets must do more to ensure they receive adequate nutrition and reduce their sugar intake.”
Nearly 100 million adults have prediabetes. This new data shows that it’s a growing problem for children as well, but it is reversible.
This study used information gathered in 2018. It is widely acknowledged that we have all become more sedentary since the outbreak of Covid-19. It is highly probable the problem has become worse as exercise has declined and weight has gone up. Prediabetes is impossible to diagnose without blood tests. However, you do know if your diet and lifestyle are suffering.
If you have an unhealthy lifestyle, or you have a child in your life who does, it’s time to make a change. This new research can act as a call to action.
“This is an important message for parents and caregivers, as well as public health leaders, that we need to pay more attention to diet and exercise in young people,” said Prof. Liu.
Making healthy changes as a family might be the best way forward. You can remove junk food from your home, start taking more walks together and eat family dinners. By making healthier choices for everyone as a group, you can influence your child’s health without them feeling singled out. We could all make better decisions from time to time. Helping young people make the best choices more easily could set them up for a lifetime of better health!