Your Child’s Favorite Video Game Might Be Putting Him at Increased Risk of Early Diabetes
Is your child always glued to his playstation or is always found playing video games on the Smartphone? Has he taken to staying indoors all day foregoing his daily evening outdoor playing session with friends? If yes, you must be more concerned than you are!
As we observe World Diabetes Day, doctors and consultants at Columbia Asia Hospital, Gurgaon spoke to parents about the rising incidence of diabetes in children, and provided them some interesting tips to control the disease in kids.
With every passing day, cases of diabetes among younger age groups, especially among adolescents, are on the rise. Be it type 1 or type 2 diabetes, diabetes management needs to be handled sensitively in children. To spread this message in a more effective manner as well as to mark the occasion of children’s day (which falls on the same date this year), 50 boys and girls (between the ages of 5 to 15) were distributed special gifts in the Out Patient Department of the hospital.
According to the World Health Organization, type 2 diabetes has increasingly been reported in children and adolescents in recent years, so much so that in some parts of the world, type 2 diabetes has become the main type of diabetes in children.
“As across the world, incidence of diabetes is rising by alarming proportions in India. Diabetes today is one of the most widespread health disorders in India. According to International Diabetes Federation, there were 69.1 million cases of diabetes in India in 2015 with 1,027,911 annual deaths due to the condition. The prevalence of diabetes in adults (20-79 years of age) is as high as 8.7%. One of the most significant concerns around this rising diabetes epidemic is the rise in incidence of this condition in children,” says Dr. Abhay Inderjit Ahluwalia (Endocrinology), Columbia Asia Hospital, Gurgaon.
The incidence of diabetes is rising around the world, and studies are showing children are at increasing risk of developing the disease.
“For children of our generation, the main source of entertainment was outdoor games. the Increasing prevalence of the video game culture among children is putting them at increased risk of early type 2 diabetes. It is a common sight today to see small children glued to a video game or huddled together on a digital device for hours. This is causing serious damage to this generation, and parents must take note of it. It is not an intelligent idea to give your child a smartphone or a playstation. Rather give them games and kits that drive them outdoors. Encourage them to play cricket, basketball, football, even take them out for a jog every day with you if required,” says Dr. Abhay Inderjit Ahluwalia (Endocrinology), Columbia Asia Hospital, Gurgaon
The global rise of childhood obesity and physical inactivity is widely believed to play a crucial role in increasing incidence of childhood diabetes. It also makes young adults prone to early onset of diabetes.
“While type 1 diabetes or juvenile diabetes is a genetic condition found in children, type 2 diabetes has traditionally been considered a disease of adults. However, the alarming trend today is the rise of type 2 diabetes in children as well. Physical inactivity and rise in childhood obesity are the major drivers of this trend,” adds Dr. Abhay Inderjit Ahluwalia (Endocrinology), Columbia Asia Hospital, Gurgaon
Type 1 diabetes or childhood-onset diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar. It is believed to be the result of a combination of genetic and environmental factors. On the other hand, type 2 diabetes happens when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. This is a preventable type of diabetes in most people and usually results from excess body weight and physical inactivity.
Diabetes is a serious condition which makes individuals more prone to heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, vision loss as well as amputations due to nerve damage. Over time, diabetes can damage the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves – causing chronic problems and early death.
What you & your child should do:
Simple lifestyle measures have been shown to be effective in preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes:
- Children emulate adults. You should set the right example by making sure you exercise 30 minutes daily; Take your child along to ensure he/she develops the habit
- Maintain healthy body weight
- Eat a healthy diet which includes more vegetables and fruits and less fast food
- Avoid tobacco use – smoking increases the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.