'Pre-diabetes' diabetes rising among U.S. teens
A diabetic patient displays her insulin supplies and blood sugar level-testing device in downtown Los Angeles (Lucy Nicholson, Reuters / May 21, 2012)
That's the general way of managing pre-diabetes, May said, and it's also the key to overall health, for both heavy and normal-weight kids.
In this study, pre-diabetes/diabetes and other heart risk factors were more common in overweight or obese teens. But their normal-weight peers were far from immune.
Of those thinner kids, 37 percent had at least one heart risk factor, May pointed out.
"All kids can benefit from a healthy lifestyle," May said.
For parents, she said, that means "modeling" healthy eating and exercise for their kids, and making sure the kitchen is stocked with foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy — rather than junk food.
May also said that pediatricians should be following guidelines on obesity screening.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a government-backed panel, recommends that children age six and older be screened for obesity. If a child is heavy, pediatricians should offer families behavioral counseling, or refer them to someone who can.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children have their blood pressure checked regularly starting around age four. The AAP also suggests that kids' cholesterol be checked between the ages of nine and 11, and then again between the ages of 17 and 21.
SOURCE: http://bit.ly/J8xGAH Pediatrics, online May 21, 2012.