Here's a scary new statistic: nearly one in four teens is on the verge of developing Type 2 diabetes or already has it. Okay, maybe that's not so surprising. What IS surprising, however, is that the number has grown a lot more sharply than we realize, when only ten years ago fewer than one in 10 were at that same risk. The numbers of kids with diabetes have almost tripled in a very short time, so what's a parent to do? Luckily, despite all of the studies saying that diabetes and obesity, which are often linked, are on the rise—there IS something that parents can do to help prevent their kids from developing this deadly disease. And it starts with what you do at home.

Read more ¿Qué más? Is preventing diabetes really as easy as eating breakfast?

While the study found that the number of teens diagnoses with diabetes or pre-diabetes has increased dramatically and the worse news is that the disease is progressing more rapidly in children than adults and is harder to treat, there is some light at the end of the tunnel: prevention and even reversing diabetes starts at home with those old standbys, eating right and exercising regularly.

I'm sure you don't need another reminder to eat right and exercise, right? But, well, here it is anyway. And this time it's your kids health at risk. Another recent study found that eating breakfast can actually lower your risk of diabetes by 21% so the first thing you should do is make sure your kids are eating a full, healthy breakfast in the morning. Then help them eat healthy at school by making one of these easy, portable and healthy Latin lunches. And don't forget to put plenty of Latin superfoods in their lunchbox so that they can have a healthy snack, as well!

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WebMD writes about reversing (and preventing) Type 2 Diabetes by focusing on leafy, green vegetables, getting most of your protein from chicken, eating oily fish twice a week and eating bread (and beans) that have a lot of fiber. But the next step is to make sure that your kids are getting some exercise during the week. Try incorporating some fun, family activities throughout the week to get both your bodies moving. Start the day with 10 minutes of family yoga, ride bikes around the neighborhood after school, have a dance-off during commercials when you're watching TV at home. Encourage your kid to take a walk during lunch at school and take the stairs instead of the elevator. Just as for you, every little thing will count to help prevent—and reverse—your child's Type 2 diabetes. Maybe if we all start doing this, those teen diabetes rates will actually start going back down.

Do you eat right and exercise with your kids? What are your best recommendations on how to get them to eat healthier foods and start moving more? Share with us in the comments below!

Image via acetonic/flickr

About the author

Irina Gonzalez is a Staff Writer for MamásLatinas. She loves pop culture, social media, photography and, above all, discovering new places. She's also a foodie eating healthy and learning to enjoy exercise.

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JBolanos

Irina,

You are right, we mom's have the" poder" to influence our children's habits. Many times because of many reasons (work, no time, fatigue, whatever) we fail to teach our children healthy exercise and eating habits. My mother never had junk food in the house, instead she always had a fruitbowl in the kitchen counter full of delicious fruits in season. Whe we were hungry between meals we would grab an apple or banana on the go. This tradition I have instilled in my own home today and my 2 boys (14 & 24) are great athletes and are fit. I did nothave to nag or anything, I lead by example and it worked. Today my 14 yr. old and I like to take walks before dinner and this is the time that we have to chat and get up to date; my older son who lives on his own loves to go to the gym everyday and work out and has healthy eating habits. The other day he told me; "Mom thanks for always having that fruitbowl, it comes easy for me to keep fit because of you."   

 

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