A general physician and Medical Director of a private hospital in Lagos, Dr. Abiodun Abraham, yesterday attributed the prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes, T2D, among children to unhealthy eating habits.
Abraham told NAN that there was no available data to show the prevalence rate of the condition on a national scale as studies had not been carried out due to lack of planning.
The physician said his assertion was based on cases presented at the hospital.
“A lot of Nigerian children are developing Type 2 diabetes; usually type 2 is restricted to older people, but what usually causes it is our unhealthy eating habits. We are in a culture where parents have to go to work; they do not have time to cook wholesome healthy foods for their children.
“They stop at eateries; at fast food joints and they give them food that are high in carbohydrates, fats and very low on vegetables and fruits. They give them foods that are not adequate for their proper growth. When a child is given unhealthy foods, foods that make them fat, they gain weight and then develop what is called insulin resistance.
“Just like adults their insulin does not work properly and they develop type 2 diabetes through a chain of events. So, we are also seeing parents giving too many chocolates. It is these type of foods that give diabetes. Too many sweet things to their children; they give them large amounts of biscuits to take to school.
“And so, there is a heavy amount of sugar that is being processed in the body of a child and because of that the child unfortunately develops diabetes.“
According to her, the risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes such as being overweight and impaired blood sugar, can be seen in many children.
Abraham stressed the need for health workers to be sensitised, considering the risk factors recorded in many children.
“There is need for policies in schools, homes, and healthcare centres to prevent and control the increasing prevalence of these risk factors,“ Abraham said.


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