What are the risk factors of type 2 diabetes in children?


Type 2 diabetes occurs when insulin that the body produces is less efficient at moving sugar out of the bloodstream. Type 2 diabetes is characterized by insulin resistance, requiring increasing amounts of insulin to be produced by the pancreas to control blood glucose levels and usually occurs in adults who are overweight.

Dr. Dania J. Lindenberg, MD

One major risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes in children is obesity. Your child can reduce his or her risk of type 2 diabetes by maintaining a healthy weight and getting regular exercise.

Dr. Francine Kaufman, a diabetes expert, talks about the risk factors of Type 2 diabetes in children.

Risk factors for your child getting type 2 diabetes include:

  • Low activity levels
  • High BMI
  • Family history
  • Poor diet
  • Carried weight mostly around the middle

Ways to to reduce risk include:

  • Improve overall lifestyle habits.
  • Slowly increase activity to 60 minutes per day, aerobic and strength.
  • Evolve daily food intake to replace simple sugars with complex carbohydrates.

From Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children by Jennifer Trachtenberg.

    Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children

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    Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children

    When kids start going on TV binges or devouring fistfuls of cookies, it's easy to say, "They'll grow out of it." More likely, they're acquiring bad habits that could lead to childhood obesity and...

    Risk factors for type 2 diabetes in children include children:

    • with prediabetes (impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and/or impaired fasting glucose (IFG))
    • with a family history of diabetes
    • who are overweight
    • with low HDL cholesterol or high triglycerides, high blood pressure
    • of certain racial and ethnic groups (e.g., Non-Hispanic Blacks, Hispanic/Latino Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and American Indians and Alaska Natives)

    Find out if you are at risk for prediabetes or diabetes at www.diabetes.org/risktest

    Continue Learning about Diabetes


    Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

    is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

    Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.