Dear Dr. Cory:
How do people get diabetes? My friend has it.
People with diabetes have too much sugar in their blood. There are two main types of diabetes--type 1 and type 2. Type 1 usually begins in children and young adults. Experts still don't know exactly what triggers type 1 diabetes but believe that it may be a virus or something else in the environment. There is no cure yet for type 1 diabetes and no way to prevent it.
Type 2 diabetes is the kind that is often found in people who are overweight. In the past, almost everybody who had type 2 diabetes was an adult. Today many children have it.
To help prevent or delay the start of type 2 diabetes:
* Eat a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole-grain breads and cereals, and low-fat dairy foods. Drink water often.
* Avoid fast-food meals and ready-made or boxed meals.
* Limit sugary foods and drinks to avoid the extra calories that cause weight gain.
* Shop with your family for fresh fruits and vegetables that you like.
* Help your family plan dinner menus and eat dinner together as often as possible.
* Be very active for at least an hour and up to several hours each day.
The Low-down on Soda
One 12-ounce can of soda has about 10 teaspoons of sugar--more sugar than in a chocolate bar! Drinking one soft drink every day could add up to 15 pounds of extra weight each year.