Friday, 11 January 2013

Health - Teaching children how to prevent Diabetes

I have a special treat for you all today - my first guest blogger : )

Carolyn Fallon has kindly shared how type 2 diabetes has affected her family and their lifestyle.

Teaching Younger People To Prevent Diabetes

Health and fitness is a very important issue for me. I love working out and eating healthy with new recipes I find and try. Unfortunately, not all of my family is as diligent with their health as I am. One of my younger cousins was recently diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and it has been very difficult all of us. After doing some research, I have become alarmed at how serious this disease is and the type of effect it can have on my cousin’s life. In fact, according to St. Joseph’s Hospital Cardiac Center, if left untreated, diabetes can cause heart disease, eye problems or blindness, and even neurological problems later in life. Seeing the seriousness of this disease, and also because November was American Diabetes Month, I have take it upon myself to help my cousins live healthier through better eating and exercise habits.

Eating Healthy

My family and I are trying to eat better every single day. The first step is to make a change one meal or snack at a time so we are more likely to stay with it. We're switching out candy and snacks for fresh fruits and veggies, and we're choosing healthier options when we eat out (which I try to limit as much as possible anyways). When the holidays rolled around, we put more emphasis on the vegetables and healthy options at the family table than all of the higher calorie treats available (which we made sure to limit). Although we have a way to go with eating healthier all the time, its important to take things at a pace that people are willing to stick with, and to try to be open to trying new and creative food options.
Being Healthy

I'm also finding it incredibly fun to workout with my family members a few times a week. With the weather being so cold, we like to workout at home to a good fitness DVD or video we've found online. My cousin enjoys spending her free time looking for challenging workout videos on the Internet so that we can try it the next time we all get together. We even incorporate some of the kids video games – such as Wii Fit or Just Dance! It’s a blast, and we love to have dance competitions for fun – which also gives us a great workout just from laughing so much! It has been an amazing experience for all of us and I've even made some slight changes myself to live a healthier and more fulfilling life.

I absolutely love being able to eat healthier and exercise more regularly with the ones I cherish. I'm finding it especially motivating since the holidays came and went and we were able to all ring in the New Year as healthier individuals. 

I think it's essential that parents workout with their kids and start healthy eating habits early so that their children can grow up with these habits intact. It's much easier to live healthy when you've done it for your entire life and were taught about it by your beloved parents!Type 2 diabetes in children may develop gradually. Some children experience: 

  • Increased thirst and urination.
  • Increased hunger. 
  • Weight loss. Despite eating more than usual to relieve hunger, your child may lose weight. · Fatigue. 
  • Blurred vision. 
  • Slow-healing sores or frequent infections. 
  • Areas of darkened skin.  These dark patches often occur in the armpits or neck. 

Your child may be at high risk if he or she:

  • Has a body mass index (BMI) above the 85th percentile - you can calculate BMI here
  • Has a sibling, parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle or cousin with type 2 diabetes
  • Has signs of insulin resistance, such as darkened skin on the neck 

Carolyn is a 20-something year old with a passion for life, fitness and overall well-being. She is an avid cycler, golfer and has been known to bust some serious moves on the dance floor. Check out Carolyn’s blog at

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