Last week, a team of researchers based in Chennai released the results of a study which showed that cases of Type 2 Diabetes among children and adolescents are increasing.
The results, which were published in Diabetes Technology and Therapeutics, detailed that of all cases of Type 2 Diabetes that were registered between 1992 and 2009, 26 percent of people were under 15 years old at the time of diagnosis. The report also noted that females are more susceptible to the disease than males, while the increase in child and adolescent Type 2 Diabetes was found more among people from affluent backgrounds.
While having a family history of the disease remains one of the biggest contributing factors to being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise are playing an ever growing role. As India continues to develop so too does the daily diet change. Globalisation has ushered in fast food chains from all over the world as well as processed, sugary foods and drinks from the west (soft drink companies in India continue to post large quarterly profits year after year) while time-poor executives eat whatever is quick and easy to “fill the hole”.
TV and computer games support a more sedentary lifestyle and one Australian study conducted earlier this year found that children who were fed high junk food diets were more likely to have a lower IQ than children who were fed healthier diets.
According to the World Health Organization, India has the highest rate of diabetes globally, with approximately 50 million people diagnosed with the disease. This number, as well as the findings from the Chennai study, will be put under the microscope at the end of October as Chennai hosts the 40th annual meeting of the Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India. Running from October 26 until October 28, the event will provide a forum for health practitioners and medical staff from across to discuss the latest developments regarding Diabetes while workshops will focus on key areas such as insulin pumps, monitoring and medical writing.
There is a wealth of resources online that support healthy diets. A lot of it may seem like common sense, but things such as time constraints and, for parents, feeding children something they’ll actually eat can help throw logic out the door. Two good starting points are the blog The Healthy Indian Diet and India Parenting (which has an article about reducing sugar in your child’s diet).
Author: Anna Rees/ RESET editorial
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