Managing Type 2 Diabetes in Children, Type 2 Diabetes Management in Kids

Managing Type 2 Diabetes in Children, Type 2 Diabetes Management in Kids

Managing Type 2 Diabetes in Children 

The cornerstones of managing type 2 diabetes in children are:

Some children with type 2 diabetes also may need to take oral anti-diabetes medication, insulin, or both.

Obesity Prevention

Approximately 15 percent of children and teens are overweight—about double the number of two decades ago—increasing the incidence of children and young adults diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Although no ethnic group is untouched by the problem, the disease disproportionately affects American Indian, African American, Mexican American, and Pacific Islander youth.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "at risk for overweight" is defined as being in the 85th–94th percentile, and "overweight" is defined as at or above the 95th percentile on the CDC's Body Mass Index (BMI)-for-age growth charts.

For children and teens at risk of type 2 diabetes, healthcare providers can encourage, support and educate the entire family to make lifestyle changes that delay or lower the risk for type 2 diabetes.

Such lifestyle changes include keeping at a healthy weight and staying active. New research findings will help determine effective ways to lower risk factors in high-risk children.

Healthy Eating

Meal plans should outline appropriate changes in eating habits that lead to better energy balance and reduce or prevent obesity.

A meal plan also helps keep blood glucose levels in the target range.

Children or adolescents and their families can learn how different types of food affect blood glucose levels. Portion sizes, the right amount of calories for the child's age, and ideas for healthy food choices at meal and snack time also should be discussed including reduction in soda and juice consumption.

Family support for following the meal plan and setting up regular meal times is a key to success, especially if the child or teen is taking insulin.


Children with type 2 diabetes need regular physical activity…ideally a total of 60 minutes each day.

Physical activity helps to lower blood glucose levels, especially in children and adolescents with type 2 diabetes.

Learn More about Type 2 Diabetes in Children

Contact Phoenix Children's Hospital to learn more managing type 2 diabetes in children. 

(602) 933-0935

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