To Your Health
June, 2008 (Vol. 02, Issue 06)
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The important thing to note here is that efficacy and safety data for these chemicals are not available for children, and that none of these drugs is FDA-approved for use in children.

Additionally, it's been determined that these substances are only effective in 40 percent of cases, and then for only about three months. Clearly, pharmaceuticals may not be the answer.

Dr. Michael Berger, MS, professor of medicine at Dusseldorf University in Germany, says the use of drugs has become the treatment of laziness, "both on the part of the physician and the patient." It's easier to just write a prescription and give the child a pill than to educate parents on the importance of a healthy diet and the wellness lifestyle.

Lead by Example

It's important to know that a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes does not guarantee a future of complications and health risks. The reality is that with moderate changes to a family's diet and exercise routine, a child can overcome this disease and live a long and healthy life. Of course, the best option is to teach children sound exercise and nutrition habits, which can help them avoid getting diabetes, and many other health conditions linked to obesity, in the first place.

The Natural Approach

A young family of four preparing a healthy lunch. - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Here are some ideas to help your entire family avoid the perils of diabetes and other conditions related to obesity:

  • Change the family lifestyle. Even if there's only one child at risk of suffering from this disease, the entire family will benefit.
  • Use smaller plates for meals. Smaller plates mean smaller portions, which means less caloric intake.
  • Eat better foods. Two-thirds of the child's plate should be vegetables, while the remaining third should be a mix of fruits, proteins and whole grains.
  • When in doubt, don't eat white (e.g., white potatoes, white rice, white bread).
  • Avoid processed items. If it's wrapped in plastic or comes in a box, there's a good chance it's processed.
  • Find ways to keep the child active. Just 30 minutes a day of moderate physical activity can prevent type 2 diabetes.

Note: In warmer climates, consider walking or biking around your neighborhood, going to the park, playing catch, etc. In colder climates, find a family-friendly gym, utilize an indoor swimming facility or consider going to the mall and walking nonstop.

Claudia Anrig, DC, practices in Fresno, Calif., and is on the board of directors of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, an organization that can answer your questions regarding the value of chiropractic care during and after pregnancy.