Losing weight before puberty can prevent diabetes

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Being a heavy kid is common

pubertyMore than 23 percent of all children worldwide are overweight or obese. Not only are heavy kids more likely to face bullies in the schoolyard, they are also more likely to develop Type 2 Diabetes later on in adulthood. That was the common belief, until a new study shows that as long as these kids lose the weight before they turn 13, the risk of diabetes reduces greatly. This is the first and largest study to show if weight reduction is done before puberty the future risk of disease is lowered.

A difference of a few pounds

We’re not talking extremes here, we’re talking just carrying extra pounds and shedding these changing risk of disease significantly. This new study showed that being overweight at age seven, 13 and in early adulthood made it four times more likely that the person would develop diabetes. Adding extra pounds by the time puberty arrives and keeping them on as an adult posed a 3.87-fold greater risk.

Puberty is the magical timeframe

Among children who became overweight, only the seven-year-olds who lost it by age 13 didn’t have an increased risk. Youngsters who were overweight at age seven and 13 but lost the extra weight by early adulthood were still 51 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes when they grew up. This gives us hope for the future. We can help children normalize their weight through exercise and lifestyle changes, not just diet. And just because a child may be overweight as a youngster, we can teach them good, healthy habits before they hit puberty to help them start and continue a healthy lifestyle.

Do you help your kids live a healthy lifestyle?

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