A general physician, Dr Abiodun Abraham, yesterday attributed the prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) among children to unhealthy eating habits. Abraham, the Medical Director of a private hospital in Lagos told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), however, 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 that 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 the 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 the eateries; they stop at the fast food joints and they give them foods that are high in carbohydrates, high in fats and very low on vegetables, low on fruits.
“They give them foods that are not really adequate for them, for their proper growth. “When a child is given unhealthy foods, foods that make them fat, they gain weight; when they gain weight, they develop what is called insulin resistance. “Just like the adults their insulin does not work properly for them and they develop type 2 diabetes through a chain of events.
“So, we are seeing also parents giving too many chocolates. It is these types 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 more than should be processed 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 fasting blood sugar can be seen in many children.