How Kids Can Fight Diabetes
As a parent, you want your child to be happy and healthy. Especially parents who have certain conditions that they do not want to pass on, like diabetes. Now, parents can be proactive about it instead of wishing it won't happen.
This is good news in the face of statistics that show the number of people with diabetes is predicted to double in 10 years. That means today's children are at growing risk of developing not just diabetes, but also its consequences -- like heart disease, kidney problems, blindness, and even losing a limb. But you can help do something about it.
Can protein intake influence the development of diabetes?
The first thing you should know: there is scientific evidence that suggests high protein intake in infancy is linked with developing diabetes later on in life. What happens is that when a young child gets more protein than he needs, he becomes prone to fat accumulation. That fat can contribute to insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes.
What happens when you lower a child's protein intake?
As long as your child meets his basic protein requirements, a lower protein quantity can actually be more beneficial. It has the potential to positively influence a child's metabolic system to function in a healthy way. As a parent, you can use this to your child's advantage.
Program your child's metabolic response.
Programming is the capability to shape a child's body towards a life of health or illness. In this case, the quantity and quality of protein a child gets early in life affects or "programs" the child's metabolic response. Too much protein can make him susceptible to diabetes. Too little and he might not get enough nutrients. The key is to meet the baby's needs and match it as he grows.
Making sure your child gets adequate protein - lower quantity but higher quality - can spell the difference between diabetes in the future. It's not only sweet, it's one of the best things you can do for your child.
- Van Nielen, M. et al. Dietary protein intake and incidence of type 2 diabetes in Europe: the EPIC-InterAct Case-Cohort Study. Diabetes Care 2014 Jul; 37 (7): 1854-62