NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — The obesity epidemic in the country is at an all-time high and is the main contributing factor to all types of diabetes.
North Dakota has one of the highest rates of Diabetes in children compared to the other 49 states.
Kyara Brown spoke with medical professionals to ensure parents and caregivers are equipped with the tools for their children to live healthy lifestyles.
While the obesity rate in the country has soared in the last 10 years, so has the diabetes rate in children in North Dakota.
There are several things that can be done to prevent these health conditions, and one starts in your kitchen.
Its been proven that having three to five homecooked family meals a week can reduce the possibility of obesity by 40%.
“Family meals have been shown to make a difference, we talk about 5-2-1-0 all the time. Five stands for five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day. If you eat more fruits and vegetables, they are higher fiber so we’d rather they had an apple than a candy bar,” said Dr. Diana Peterson, a Pediatrician at Trinity Health in Minot.
Like she said, five stands for five servings of fruits and veggies.
The two stands for two hours or less of screen time for school-aged kids.
One stands for one hour of physical activity outside of school.
And zero stands for zero sugar sweets in beverages, which are a leading cause of diabetes and other health conditions.
Even taking your child to the dentist regularly can help.
“Most people don’t know that the earliest signs of diabetes show up in the mouth. That’s another misconception, that it’s okay for gums to bleed. That’s a leaky barrier for bacteria from the mouth to enter the bloodstream,” said Dr. Susan Maples, a dentist, author, and health educator from Michigan.
Another health tip for North Dakotans is to ensure everyone in your family gets the proper amount of Vitamin D.
“We do push the vitamin D. We’re far enough north that it’s recommended that everybody, birth to death, not just kids, you’re supposed to take it, I’m supposed to take it. Take vitamin D because it’s made from sun exposure and none of us get enough sun exposure. the recommended level is 400 international units but the American Academy of Pediatrics generally recommends we double that,” said Dr. Peterson.
Eight-10 hours of sleep plays an enormous role in health and children’s development.
Dr. Peterson says it’s never too early or too late to get your children on track to living a healthy lifestyle.
Doctors also recommend that children in grade school drink at least 60 ounces of water a day.