Ask the Diabetes Educator Archive

Q:
What is the cause of diabetes and will cutting down on the sugar consumption of children prevent or cut down the chances of children becoming diabetic?

A:
If we knew the precise cause of diabetes, we would be swiftly zoning in on the "cure." Both genetics and environmental factors have been identified. Type I, an autoimmune disease, has genetic factors that have been identified. Sugar consumption is not a direct cause of diabetes but can be a contributing factor if "abused." Pre-diabetes that is influenced by poor eating habits and lack of exercise has become a real health issue. We are seeing this in our youth populations as never before, setting the stage for cardiovascular problems. As concerned parents, we can become activists on some simple issues: no sodas in schools, and a stop to unlimited refills in restaurants. As a nation, we have become addicted to fats, refined carbohydrates, and simple sugars. Changing these habits is not an easy task, but is at the root of your concern. We hope you will lend a voice.



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