Weight and Diabetesenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/P-diabetesWeight-enHD-AR1.gifA balanced diet and an active lifestyle are important for kids with diabetes because weight can influence diabetes, and diabetes can influence weight.diabetes, weight, overweight, obesity, obese, weight gain, weight loss, insulin resistance, glucose, insulin, pancreas, eating habits, calories, portion size, how is diabetes related to weight, parent weight, self-esteem, oversnacking, sneaking snacks, fad diets, skipping insulin injections, extreme dieting, diabetic ketoacidosis04/01/200502/16/201802/16/2018Steven Dowshen, MD02/07/201839ba5f7c-ecc6-4068-96ca-72fdd7690a54https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/weight-diabetes.html/<p>A balanced diet and an active lifestyle can help all kids maintain a healthy weight. For kids with diabetes, diet and exercise are even more important because weight can affect diabetes and diabetes can affect weight.</p> <p>This is true for kids and teens with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes.</p> <h3>Weight and Type 1 Diabetes</h3> <p>In diabetes, the body doesn't use <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/glucose.html/">glucose</a> properly. Glucose, a sugar, is the main source of energy for the body. Glucose levels are controlled by a hormone called <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/insulin.html/">insulin</a>, which is made in the pancreas. In <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/type1.html/">type 1 diabetes</a>, the pancreas does not make enough insulin.</p> <p>Undiagnosed or untreated type 1 diabetes can cause weight loss. Glucose builds up in the bloodstream if insulin isn't available to move it into the body's cells. When glucose levels become high, the kidneys work to get rid of unused sugar through urine (pee). This causes weight loss due to <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/dehydration.html/">dehydration</a> and loss of calories from the sugar that wasn't used as energy.</p> <p>Kids who develop type 1 diabetes often lose weight even though they have a normal or increased appetite. Once kids are diagnosed and treated for type 1 diabetes, weight usually returns to normal.</p> <p>Developing type 1 diabetes isn't related to being overweight, but keeping a healthy weight is important. Too much fat tissue can make it hard for insulin to work properly, leading to both higher insulin needs and trouble controlling blood sugar.</p> <h3>Weight and Type 2 Diabetes</h3> <p>In <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/type2.html/">type 2 diabetes</a>, the pancreas still makes insulin, but the insulin doesn't work in the body like it should and blood sugar levels get too high. Most kids and teens are overweight when they're diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Being <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/overweight-obesity.html/">overweight or obese</a> increases a person's risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Also, weight gain in people with type 2 diabetes makes blood sugar levels even harder to control.</p> <p>People with type 2 diabetes have a condition called <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/insulin-resistance.html/">insulin resistance</a>. They're able to make insulin, but their bodies can't use it properly to move glucose into the cells. So, the amount of glucose in the blood rises. The pancreas then makes more insulin to try to overcome this problem.</p> <p>Eventually, the pancreas can wear out from working so hard and might not be able to make enough insulin to keep blood glucose levels within a normal range. At this point, a person has type 2 diabetes.</p> <p>Insulin resistance gets better with a combination of weight loss and exercise. For people with type 2 diabetes, getting to a healthy weight and exercising regularly makes it easier to reach target blood sugar levels. And, in some cases, the body's ability to control blood sugar may even return to normal.</p> <p>Insulin resistance can happen in people without diabetes, but it puts them at a higher risk for developing the disease. For overweight people without type 2 diabetes, losing weight and exercising can cut their risk of developing the disease.</p> <h3>The Importance of a Healthy Weight</h3> <p>When kids with diabetes reach and maintain a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/childs-weight.html/">healthy weight</a>, they feel better and have more energy. Their diabetes symptoms decrease and their blood sugar levels are better controlled. They also may be less likely to develop <a class="kh_anchor">complications</a> from diabetes, like heart disease.</p> <p>Doctors use <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/bmi-charts.html/">body mass index (BMI)</a>&nbsp;to determine if a person's weight is healthy. If your doctor recommends that your child lose weight to control diabetes, a weight management plan can hel. Even if your child's BMI is in the healthy range, the doctor can help you come up with a healthy meal and exercise plan.</p> <h3>How Can I Help My Child?</h3> <p>Your emotional support is an important part of helping your child get to a healthy weight. Overweight kids can have low&nbsp;<a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/self-esteem.html/">self-esteem</a>&nbsp;or feel guilty. Try to stay positive and talk about being "healthy" rather than use terms like "fat" or "thin." Help your child understand that all healthy people need to actively manage their weight &mdash; even you.</p> <p>And remember that kids pick up on parental attitudes and actions about weight and eating &mdash; after all, you buy the food and cook the meals. By buying healthy foods and cooking nutritious meals, you provide the tools your child needs to get to a healthy weight.</p> <h3>What Else Should I Know?</h3> <p>Here are some common problems to watch for and discuss with your doctor:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li><strong>Oversnacking.</strong> Some kids with diabetes eat too many snacks because they or their parents worry about <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/def-hypoglycemia.html/">hypoglycemia</a> (low blood sugar). Keep track of the snacks in your home and how quickly they're eaten. If you have questions about healthy snacks, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian. Also, talk with your child about the importance of following the diabetes meal plan.</li> <li><strong>Sneaking snacks.</strong> Kids or teens may sneak extras of the candy or sweets they're supposed to eat in moderation, which can raise blood sugar levels. Parents may respond by giving the child higher doses of insulin. This cycle can lead to excessive weight gain. Be sure your child understands why it's important to follow the meal plan, and ask questions if your child's blood sugar levels seem unexplainably high.</li> <li><strong>Extreme dieting.</strong> Some kids with diabetes &mdash; especially teens &mdash; may try to lose weight with fad diets or other extreme measures. These aren't good for anyone, but they're especially unhealthy for people with diabetes because they throw blood sugar levels off track.</li> <li><strong>Skipping insulin.</strong> Teens, in particular, sometimes skip insulin injections to lose weight. Talk to your child about why this is a dangerous tactic &mdash; it can lead to very high blood sugar levels and even diabetic <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/ketoacidosis.html/">ketoacidosis</a>. Teens who do this may need counseling from a mental health professional to address an eating disorder or other <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/body-image.html/">body image</a> or emotional problem.</li> <li><strong>Exercise.</strong> Many parents worry about low blood sugars and so are nervous about how much kids with diabetes should <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/sports-diabetes.html/">exercise</a>. But there's no need to limit physical activity. Your <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/diabetes-team.html/">diabetes health care team</a> can help you form a plan to avoid low blood sugars through changes in medicine or timed snacks.</li> </ul> <p>By following the doctor's advice about food and exercise, your child can reach and maintain a healthy weight. Kids who reach a healthy weight feel better and find that diabetes management is easier. They feel like they're more in control of their diabetes, their bodies, and their health.</p> <p>For any help along the way, just ask &mdash; your diabetes health care team can offer tips and advice on coping with weight-control challenges.</p>El peso y la diabetesUna dieta balanceada y una vida activa son importantes para que los niños puedan mantener un peso saludable. Pero para los niños con diabetes, esos aspectos son aún más trascendentales. Eso se debe a que el peso influye en la diabetes y la diabetes influye en el peso de una persona.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/es/parents/weight-diabetes-esp.html/09e0aff2-f27c-4caa-86cf-26c33f94f549
About Overweight and ObesityWe use the words "oveweight" and "obese" a lot, but they actually have medical meanings. Find out how doctors diagnose these conditions and what they mean for a person's health.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/obesity-overweight.html/3db5b37c-b543-4171-bd34-d7d71e1a51eb
Body Mass Index (BMI)One of the biggest questions guys and girls have as they grow and develop is whether they're the right weight. One place to start is by learning about body mass index, or BMI.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/bmi.html/98c6dedc-f329-494d-b3d8-2be3349f0e24
Body Mass Index (BMI) Doctors use body mass index (BMI) measurements to assess a child's physical growth in relation to other kids the same age. Here's how to calculate BMI and understand what the numbers mean.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/bmi-charts.html/40477781-cab1-4cd1-ad4c-35dec69f6d7c
Can Diabetes Be Prevented?Parents want to protect their kids from everything, which is virtually impossible, of course. But can you prevent your child from getting diabetes?https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/prevention.html/19c3deb6-6d13-4116-a161-d84cff17f000
Diabetes CenterDiabetes means a problem with insulin, an important hormone in the body. Find out how children with diabetes can stay healthy and do the normal stuff kids like to do.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/center/diabetes-center.html/0767277a-98f9-4541-b2f6-f3c68f43a94c
Eating Out When You Have DiabetesEverybody loves to eat out. Can kids with diabetes go out to restaurants?https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/eating-out-diabetes.html/ef421a33-9bba-4492-88fd-a67a1f1dd70e
Eating Out When Your Child Has DiabetesDining out should be fun for you and your child with diabetes. The key is to find out the nutritional value of food options and keep portions healthy.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/eating-out-diabetes.html/5b7cc7d5-184a-4218-88c6-22bcfa71ef8f
Meal Plans and DiabetesKids with diabetes don't have to follow a special diabetes diet, but they may need to pay more attention to when they eat and how much is on their plates.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/meal-plans-diabetes.html/5e58b666-d65f-49a0-8e74-204173c9f797
Meal Plans: What Kids With Diabetes Need to KnowMeal plans help people with diabetes eat right and stay healthy. What's a meal plan?https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/meal-plans-diabetes.html/e7692950-ecda-4c14-9ee5-07468027b1ac
Medicines for DiabetesTaking medicines is a major part of staying healthy if you have diabetes because they help you keep your blood sugar levels under control.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/medicines-diabetes.html/bbb46625-eff9-4291-97bd-a4a9b50a4866
Overweight and ObesityPreventing kids from becoming overweight means making choices in the way your family eats and exercises, and how you spend time together.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/overweight-obesity.html/3984b1ff-ca0a-46aa-889c-9bb1fb8b4884
Therapy and Weight ManagementLosing weight can feel like a challenge, no matter how much we want it. It can sometimes seem like our minds are working against us. That's where weight-management counselors can help.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/weight-therapists.html/d718cd12-ea3c-4f11-ae1a-24fa0827850b
Treating Type 2 DiabetesKids who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes will need a diabetes management plan to help them manage the condition and stay healthy and active.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/treating-type2.html/ab6e8644-fed9-4b2a-8fe6-18393da696cb
Type 1 Diabetes: What Is It?Every year in the United States, 13,000 children are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. With some practical knowledge, you can become your child's most important ally in learning to live with the disease.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/type1.html/2cbc7771-28c3-4592-86f5-10e0fd3d9e97
Weight and DiabetesWeight can influence diabetes, and diabetes can influence weight. Managing weight can really make a difference in a person's diabetes management plan.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/weight-diabetes.html/31352c12-f673-471d-b12b-0e81048d7617
When Being Overweight Is a Health ProblemA couple of pounds of extra body fat are not a health risk for most people. But when people are severely overweight, it can cause health problems.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/obesity.html/86e35f4d-c4b7-42bf-84a0-f23b54b1965a
Your Child's Diabetes Health Care TeamWhen you have a child with diabetes, you and your family have a lot to learn, but you don't have to go it alone. Your child's diabetes health care team can help.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/diabetes-team.html/0f4d2690-4665-4073-b5ca-026fae7fc768
kh:age-allAgesOrAgeAgnostickh:clinicalDesignation-endocrinologykh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-endocrinologyDiabetes Basicshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/diabetes-center/diabetes-basics/e7c6c2d5-789f-475d-bead-54cfac997f23Diet & Nutritionhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/diabetes-center/diet-nutrition/24144afd-245c-4668-91ba-98b22e42db2e