My child is overweight and her doctor says she's at risk of type 2 diabetes. Are there steps we can take to lower her risk?

Answer From Sara J. Carlson, R.N., C.D.E.

Yes. Parents can do a lot to help their children prevent type 2 diabetes. Make it a family affair. Healthy changes become habits more easily when everyone does them together.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Get more active. Go for walks, play ball or go to the park. Children need at least 60 minutes of activity a day.
  • Manage weight. If your child is overweight, losing weight may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Cut back on sugar. Limit sugar-sweetened drinks and juice.
  • Offer healthy snacks. Focus on vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
  • Limit screen time. That includes TVs, computers, tablets and phones.
  • Eat dinner as a family. Keep the TV turned off.
  • See a dietitian. Some grocery chains have a dietitian to help you at no charge.
Feb. 25, 2022 See more Expert Answers