It is high time we realise that Diabetes is no longer limited to old age. A lot of youngsters in their 30s, 20s and even teenagers are suffering from it. Research has shown that close to half of diabetics are not even aware of their condition. Many are only detected when they develop complications. The problem is worse when the person is a youngster because people find it difficult to accept that a young person can be diabetic. The main culprits behind this shifting trend in age are faulty diet and lack of exercise right from childhood.
Hence, the prevention should start right from childhood and family members especially mothers should realise that the health of children does not correlate with their chubby cheeks! Your extra dollops of ghee ( or cheese/butter ) are doing more harm than good. Another common mistake is to reward children or pacify a tantrum thrower with chocolates, ice creams, soft drinks and other junk food. These foods are calorie- dense, which means that even a small portion gives huge amounts of excess calories and our glued-to-Ipad/TV/mobile geniuses do not spend as much time in outdoor play or engaging in physical activities as is required to burn the calories off. So the extra calories are stored as harmful fat making the kids look plump. Another danger is that they are addicting because of the high sugar content , and can soon cause cravings and further tantrums.
Schools play a major role in changing a child's behaviour as that is where peer pressure comes to play. Unfortunately , today, Indian school canteens are also becoming westernised in order to garner 'brownie' points. Eg. all the efforts of parents go drown the drain if schools come up with ridiculous concepts like 'junk food day' and that too weekly! ( source: a distressed mother of a 10 year old type 1 diabetic)
A collective effort is required as India is already on the brink of being the diabetes capital. Youth with diabetes translates to an unhealthy population in their peak productive age which further translates into a hindrance in the overall growth of the country.