Why Overweight Children at the Onset of Puberty are at Greatest Risk of Developing Diabetes

Overweight adults are not the only ones at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

This chronic illness can also occur in overweight children, especially when they reach puberty. In fact, it is at this critical period in their growth and development that overweight children are at greatest risk of developing diabetes.

“During puberty, the body produces a range of hormones to physically transform the child into an adult. These hormones also raise blood glucose levels as they act against insulin, whose action is to reduce blood glucose,” said Associate Professor Fabian Yap, Head and Senior Consultant, Endocrinology Service, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH), a member of the SingHealth group.

Why is Diabetes More Common in Overweight Children?

Teenager eating burget and fries while playing the computer

Just like in adults, the risk factors for Type 2 diabetes in children include:

  • sedentary lifestyle
  • overeating and excess body weight
  • a family history of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high triglycerides

All these factors combined raise the level of blood glucose in the bloodstream of an overweight child, which leads to diabetes.

Read on to find out about the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes in children.

Visit Parent Hub, for more useful tips and guides to give your child a healthy start.

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