Can eating too much sugar cause diabetes in kids?



Over 422 million people around the world suffer from diabetes. As this lifestyle disease is becoming prevalent, so are the myths surrounding it.

It’s a cause for concern because kids as young as 2 years old are being detected with it.

Kids are crazy for candies and chocolates and no matter how much you control their consumption, there are times when they go overboard and you cannot help it.

But here is one of the most common myths about diabetes that it is caused by eating sugar. Yes, you read that right, it’s not true that eating sugar can cause diabetes.

Here is everything you need to know about the consumption of sugar and diabetes.

​Eating sugar cannot cause diabetes

Whenever our kids are sick, we always tend to ask the doctor was it due to something they consumed- Was it due to junk? Sugar? Soda?

When it comes to type 1 diabetes, many people do not know that its cause is not related to sugar intake. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition, where the body loses its ability to make insulin. The exact cause of it is yet unknown and there is no way to prevent it. Type 1 diabetes is not affected by how much sugar you consume or don’t consume.

On the other hand, type 2 diabetes is related to weight gain and not just consuming sugar. Children who do not eat healthy foods and eat too many unhealthy foods, sugary or not, maybe at a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, especially if they gain weight. However, some children due to their unhealthy weight may also be at risk of type 2 diabetes.

Types of diabetes

Most of us are aware of only two types of diabetes, one that affects the kids, earlier referred to as juvenile diabetes and now called type 1 diabetes and the type 2 diabetes, which was earlier called adult-onset diabetes.

But most of us don’t know that children can also develop type 2 diabetes and that can also be of more than two types. Four new types of diabetes include:

– Maturity onset diabetes of the young (MODY)

– Steroid-induced diabetes

– Cystic-fibrosis-related diabetes

– Type 1.5 diabetes

Is diabetes hereditary?

Parents are concerned that diabetes can be passed from them to their kids. Experts say, genetics can play a role, but the role also depends on the type of diabetes. Some ethnicities are more likely to get diabetes than others. However, diet and weight play a major role in determining if a child develops type 2 diabetes.

Also, in a family, all the people eat the same food. So, if parents have type 2 diabetes and eat an unhealthy diet, their kids might also get it because they are eating unhealthy too. Genetics play a role in type 1 diabetes, but how is something, which is not yet understood.

How bad sugar is for your kids?

The amount of sugar kids eat leads to big blood sugar spikes over time. This increases the risk of insulin resistance, prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

Too much sugar can also affect your child’s mood, activity and hyperactivity. It affects their behaviour because their blood sugar is like a roller coaster, up and down all day long.

But do not forget that not all sugar is created equal. Do not be afraid of fruits, whole grains, beans and dairy products though they have sugar. These are natural sugar, which is necessary for the growth and development of the child.

Children with type 2 diabetes should avoid eating the following

– Juice, soda and other sweetened beverages

– Chips, cookies and other unhealthy snacks

– White bread, rice, pasta

– Fried and junk food

– Fatty red meat

– Full-fat dairy products

​Can diabetes be cured or reversed?

Type 1 diabetes has no cure. Physicians and researchers are still learning why it condition happens. However, type 2 diabetes can be reversed and stopped with healthy lifestyle changes.

Healthy eating, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight can help reverse type 2 diabetes.

Recommended for you