Prevent Type Two Diabetes in Kids

By | Farmers Markets, Food for thought, Fresh Fruits and Veggies, News | No Comments

No parent wants their child to become a diabetic. The CDC offers some tips to help parents prevent this chronic disease for their children.

There’s a growing type 2 diabetes problem in our young people. But parents can help turn the tide with healthy changes that are good for the whole family.

Until recently, young children and teens almost never got type 2 diabetes, which is why it used to be called adult-onset diabetes. Now, about one-third of American youth are overweight, a problem closely related to the increase in kids with type 2 diabetes, some as young as 10 years old.

Weight Matters

People who are overweight—especially if they have excess belly fat—are more likely to have insulin resistance, kids included. Insulin resistance is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that acts like a key to let blood sugar into cells for use as energy. Because of heredity (traits inherited from family members) or lifestyle (eating too much and moving too little), cells can stop responding normally to insulin. That causes the pancreas to make more insulin to try to get cells to respond and take in blood sugar.

As long as enough insulin is produced, blood sugar levels remain normal. This can go on for several years, but eventually the pancreas can’t keep up. Blood sugar starts to rise, first after meals and then all the time. Now the stage is set for type 2 diabetes.

Insulin resistance usually doesn’t have any symptoms, though some kids develop patches of thickened, dark, velvety skin called acanthosis nigricans, usually in body creases and folds such as the back of the neck or armpits. They may also have other conditions related to insulin resistance, including:

  • High blood pressure.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome.

Activity Matters

Being physically active lowers the risk for type 2 diabetes because it helps the body use insulin better, decreasing insulin resistance. Physical activity improves health in lots of other ways, too, from controlling blood pressure to boosting mental health.

Age Matters

Kids who get type 2 diabetes are usually diagnosed in their early teens. One reason is that hormones present during puberty make it harder for the body use insulin, especially for girls, who are more likely than boys to develop type 2 diabetes. That’s an important reason to help your kids take charge of their health while they’re young.

More Risk Factors

These factors also increase kids’ risk for type 2 diabetes:

  • Having a family member with type 2 diabetes.
  • Being born to a mom with gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant).
  • Being African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American/Alaska Native, Asian American, or
  • Pacific Islander.
  • Having one or more conditions related to insulin resistance.
  • If your child is overweight and has any two of the risk factors listed above, talk to your doctor about getting his or her blood sugar tested. Testing typically begins at 10 years old or when puberty starts, whichever is first, and is repeated every 3 years.

Want to Limit Overeating? Limit TV Time

A recent study showed that when the amount of TV kids watched was limited, they lost weight—but not because they were more active when they weren’t watching. The difference was snacking: kids ate more when they were watching TV than when doing other activities, even sedentary (not physically active) ones.
Take Charge, Family Style

Parents can do a lot to help their kids prevent type 2 diabetes. Set a new normal as a family—healthy changes become habits more easily when everyone does them together. Here are some tips to get started:

Make a visit to a Farmers Market a Regular Family Outing

Children are naturally curious. Picking out colorful, fresh fruits and vegetables, and helping prepare them, will lead to a lifestyle of making the healthy  choice a regular choice.

Mealtime Makeover

  • Drink more water and fewer sugary drinks.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables.
  • Make favorite foods healthier.
  • Get kids involved in making healthier meals.
  • Eat slowly—it takes at least 20 minutes to start feeling full.
  • Eat at the dinner table only, not in front of the TV or computer.
  • Shop for food together.
  • Shop on a full stomach so you’re not tempted to buy unhealthy food.
  • Teach your kids to read food labels to understand which foods are healthiest.
  • Have meals together as a family as often as you can.
  • Don’t insist kids clean their plates.
  • Don’t put serving dishes on the table.
  • Serve small portions; let kids ask for seconds.
  • Reward kids with praise instead of food.

Getting Physical

  • Aim for your child to get 60 minutes of physical activity a day, in several 10- or 15-minute sessions or all at once.
  • Start slow and build up.
  • Keep it positive—focus on progress.
  • Take parent and kid fitness classes together.
  • Make physical activity more fun; try new things.
  • Ask kids what activities they like best—everyone is different.
  • Encourage kids to join a sports team.
  • Have a “fit kit” available—a jump rope, hand weights, resistance bands.
  • Limit screen time to 2 hours a day.
  • Plan active outings, like hiking or biking.
  • Take walks together.
  • Move more in and out of the house—vacuuming, raking leaves, gardening.
  • Turn chores into games, like racing to see how fast you can clean the house.
  • Young kids and teens are still growing, so if they’re overweight the goal is to slow down weight gain while allowing normal growth and development. Don’t put them on a weight loss diet without talking to their doctor.

Marion Oaks Farmers Market Opens Aug. 4

By | Dining, Farmers Markets, Food for thought, Fresh Fruits and Veggies, News | No Comments

Working to make healthy living easier where Marion County residents live, work, worship and play, Measure Up Marion has partnered with Marion Oaks Farmers Market to highlight the importance of eating fresh fruits and vegetables and improve access to the markets through their acceptance of all types of payment, including SNAP. The newest member of the North Florida farmers market community, Marion Oaks Farmers Market, will launch on Friday, August 4th from 9am to 2pm at Hebron Evangelical Church125 Marion Oaks Trail in the Marion Oaks community of Ocala, Florida.   Marion Oaks Farmers Market is a new place for local farmers, food entrepreneurs and others to share their products and services to the community.

The market will operate one day per month on August 4th and September 1st, and then increase to weekly market days beginning October 6th.  Vendors will be provided free rent for August and September.  August 4th market day will feature a Health Fair bringing together many of Marion County’s health service providers. September 1st market will feature a Chef Demonstration highlighting healthy, affordable and easy to prepare food options.

Marion Oaks Farmers Market will offer credit, debit and SNAP access to market customers. These efforts will expand sales for local farmers and increase the ability of Marion County residents to buy locally grown food.

More than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes, up from the previous estimate of 26 million in 2010, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  One in four people with diabetes doesn’t know he or she has it.  To reverse this trend, a dedicated group of citizens in the Marion Oaks area of Marion County have been working to develop programs for area residents.  The creation of a community farmers market is part of that effort.


Hebron Evangelical Church is working with Measure Up Marion, Dynamic Therapy and Wellness Services, Inc. and its partners Deliverance Outreach Ministries of Ocala (DOM), Community IT/ MyHealthStory, Estella Bryd Whitman, New Wind Investment, LLC, other local businesses and more than 20 additional faith-based organizations to improve health and wellness in the communityThese organizations are working together to bring community based chronic diseases programs that increase awareness and participation in Diabetes and Obesity prevention through the “Dynamic InSPIRE and EMPOWER for a Wellness in a  Healthy Community” program.

Measure Up Marion, is a coalition of community organizations and health advocates coordinated by Heart of Florida Health Center, and funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Marion Oaks Farmers Market opens Friday, August 4th from 9am to 2pm at 125 Marion Oaks Trail, Ocala.  For more information, us on Facebook, email, or call 347.524.1647 or 352.342.1400.