We all know the reason and the process behind diabetes mellitus but in modern times, this lifestyle disease is commonly witnessed in every age group but occurs frequently in children or young adults.
Earlier, type 2 diabetes was most commonly diagnosed in older adults but recently is increasingly seen in children, adolescents and younger adults due to rising levels of obesity, physical inactivity and poor diet.
The youth today is very negligent towards their eating habits. Due to our busy lifestyle, gone are the days of carrying healthy tiffin boxes from home. Thus, giving the children the liberty to choose their meal. Also, since online food ordering through call or an app has become the trend, just a click and your favourite meal are at your doorstep.
Peer Pressure and Stress
Peer pressure is very common during this age as they all want to ‘fit in’ and ‘look cool’. Alcohol intake, aerated drinks, fast foods, junk foods are often consumed due to peer pressure.
Drinking water is seemed uncool but sipping on a can of coke is the in thing, carrying lunch boxes from home is swapped with eating a burger or pizza instead. These unrealistic and unhealthy trends give rise to weight gain.
When you eat sugar or simple carbs there is a spike in the blood sugar level and more serotonin is released. It has drug-like effects in the reward centre of the brain. This is why we feel relaxed after having chocolates or desserts.
Consuming excessive sugar leads to abdominal obesity, which further increases one’s risk of developing diabetes.
Overweight girls are at a higher risk of developing PCOS / PCOD (polycystic ovarian syndrome/disease) which comes hand-in-hand with insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes. Early-onset of type1 diabetes can be seen in some girls because of the increase in estrogen that occurs during puberty.
No Outdoor Activity
Online gaming has taken over outdoor activity and sports. Resulting longer screen time which thereby reduces their daily physical activity. Smartphones and gadgets are also culprits here. Gaming addiction or TV addiction is also very common in this age group resulting in mindless eating and overeating.
Late-night eating is also a result of addiction to gaming or TV. Increased consumption of energy drinks and/or caffeinated drinks results in unconscious calorie and sugar consumption. Binge-eating or mindless eating coupled with lack of physical activity and prolonged consumption of high calorie and high fatty food causes excessive weight gain.
WHAT TO DO?
After all that we know about the disease and this sensitive age group of adolescents, the question remains, what to do? What to do if you think that your child is diabetic? What to do if he/she is turning moody day by day? The answer is the diagnosis.
Unless and until you are aware of the problem or the root cause of it, you will stand unable to resolve it.
The article courtesy goes to Afaaf Shaikh, Nutritionist at Digestive Health Institute.