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Hey There Beauties!

Did you know that prediabetes is a disease in its own right?

Yep, it’s not just about being at risk for diabetes down the road—people with prediabetes may already suffer from eye damage, kidney and heart problems, or circulation issues.

Many studies have suggested that chronic health problems associated with Type 2 diabetes may actually develop during the prediabetic stage. That basically means that prediabetes is already putting our bodies at huge risk, and if we want to prevent health complications from diabetes, we must protect ourselves against prediabetes, too!

Since the 1990s, prediabetes in children has been on the rise. In fact, that’s the reason “adult onset diabetes” was renamed “Type 2 diabetes”—because it was beginning to appear in eight-year-olds! 

As some of you know, this disease is incredibly dangerous. 

One study followed children with Type 2 diabetes for fifteen years, and found truly heartbreaking rates of kidney failure, early death, amputation and loss of eyesight in those patients.

If we want to stop this scary trend, we need to understand why it’s happening.

Simply put, childhood diabetes is on the rise because childhood obesity is.

In the last few decades, diagnoses of childhood obesity have doubled. If an obese child hits age six without reversing the disease, it’s statistically very unlikely that they will ever do so. And even if they do manage, healthy adults who were overweight children are at higher risk for many diseases.

For example, overweight teens (regardless of later weight loss) may be as much as twice as likely to die of a heart attack in their sixties or seventies. They’ll also be at higher risk for some cancers, arthritis and other health complications. 

The lesson here is simple: if we want our children to grow up to be healthy, thriving adults, we must protect their health now.

If you’ve been following my blogs you can probably guess how we do that:

1. Eliminate fat and added sugars from children’s diets.

2. Feed them more fresh fruits and veggies.

3. Eliminate animal products.

Doctors should, from the very start, offer new parents good nutritional advice to prevent obesity and its consequences. One university published a paper that advised avoiding meat might be an effective way to do so.

As we know well by now, vegetarians and vegans tend to be slimmer and healthier than their meat-eating counterparts. Adults with a BMI (body mass index) above 30 are considered obese; 25 to 30 is overweight; under 25 is ideal. Predictably, meat-eaters averaged 28.8 in several analyses.

In the United States, meat-eaters are, on average, overweight. But so are vegetarians.

The only group consistently showing at their ideal weight and BMI was the plant-based one…these averaged 33 pounds (about 15 kilos) lighter than their meat-eating friends.

This is basic stuff, gorgeous: Meat intake goes up, BMI, weight and health risks go up. Plant-based eating goes up, BMI, weight and health risks drop.

Interestingly, children who consume a vegetarian diet tend to grow about an inch taller than others. And no, it wasn’t the milk, because these children also consumed far less dairy and overall animal protein than the rest.

Just like their parents, children who consume meat (and other animal products like dairy and eggs) tend to be heavier than their vegetarian classmates. Whole plant foods (especially legumes, grains and nuts), on the other hand, seemed to protect children from becoming overweight. 

If doctors aren’t recommending plant-based diets for healthy parents and children, then we need to do it ourselves. There are many social, economic and political obstacles to promoting this amazing lifestyle—so the change starts with us.

Our children deserve their best chance at good health and vitality. Preventing diabetes could add up to 20 years to their lifespan—and what parent wouldn’t want that?!

Ready to go plant-based, but scared to begin? That’s why I’m here! Wild Nutrition: Your 30-Day Revolution to Plant-Based Vitality makes it so simple, delicious and effective that you’ll never want to go back.

xx

Donna

Resources:
R E Pratley. The early treatment of type 2 diabetes. Am. J. Med. 2013 126(9 – Suppl – 1):S2 – 9.
A G Tabak, C Herder, W Rathmann, E J Brunner, M Kivimaki. Prediabetes: a high-risk state for diabetes development. Lancet. 2012 Jun 16;379(9833):2279-90.
A Must, P F Jaques, G E Dallai, C J Bajema, W H Dietz. Long-term morbidity and mortality of overweight adolescents. N Engl J Med. 1992 Nov 5;327(19):1350-5.
N D Spector, S F Kelly. Pediatrician’s role in screening and treatment: Bullying, prediabetes, oral health. Current opinion in pediatrics 2006 18(6):661 – 670.
A M G Cali, S Caprio. Prediabetes and type 2 diabetes in youth: An emerging epidemic disease? Current opinion in endocrinology, diabetes and obesity 2008 15(2):123 – 127.
J Sabaté, M Wien. Vegetarian diets and childhood obesity prevention. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 2010 91(5):1525S – 1529S.