CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Recent data shows a shocking jump in youth diabetes.
A new study in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics said 1 out of 4 youth in the U.S. is diabetic or pre-diabetic. The study looked at kids under 20 years old.
It showed between 2000 and 2008, the percentage of teens with pre-diabetes and diabetes jumped from nine to 23 percent.
Local Diabetes Educator Janet Stewart at Southeast Health said in the past decade she's seen the number of kids with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes jump almost 30 percent. She said there are a number of causes: larger portions of food, sugary drinks, and lack of activity, all can be problems in the summer when kids aren't in school.
"The summer time is a time you really have to watch him close," said Steve Missey. Her son has Type 1 Diabetes. To clarify, Diabetes Educator Janet Stewart at Southeast Health said Type 1 diabetes is caused by genetics, but patients have to go through the same cautions as those with Type 2.
"You have to keep an eye on him, keep him close, especially in the summer because there's so much more activity," said Missey.
Missey said Connor likes to swim, and do other active things which can burn a lot of carbs. He said they have to monitor both how much he burns, and how what he eats.
"You know you're always worried, is he going to be low with his blood sugars," said Missey. "You're always watching and making sure, is he going to crash on you it's something you're always afraid of."
A fear Missey hopes he can help prevent other parents from going through.
Stewart said in the past decade she's seen an increase in both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes by about 30 percent, and says summer is the perfect time to warn parents of the dangers.
"Of course your kids will have more time on their hands, so it will be important to engage them in activities that involve fitness or physical movement making sure that it's fun," said Stewart.
Stewart suggested making sure your kids are moving for a minimum of 60 minutes a day, avoiding sugary drinks, and choosing appropriate food portions.
"The food choices that you make certainly influence your child," said Stewart. "As a family spending time together, being an excellent role model, considering the fuel that you put in your body your health and energy as well as making fitness fun."
Missey said the food changes are a positive influence on their entire family, and said he's glad they're able to regulate Connor's diabetes together.
"He's no different than anybody else, he can do all the activities the other kids can do, it's just something you have to keep an eye on," said Missey.
The American Association of Diabetes Educators shows some tips for people with diabetes in the summertime. It suggests: choose lean, grilled meats, stock up on veggies, hold the mayo, limit your intake of breads and rolls, drink water, not sugar, stick to your routine.
It shows filling half of your plate with veggies, quarter of your plate with starchy items, and a quarter with lean meat.
For activities the association suggests going for a walk, throwing a Frisbee, take a hike, playing badminton or volleyball, going on a bike ride, or taking a swim.
The Southeast Diabetes Center will hold a Day Summer Camp for kids with Diabetes. The goal is for kids to meet other kids like them, going through a similar situation. Summer DAY (Diabetes and Youth) Break is scheduled for Thursday and Friday July 26 & 27, 2012 8:30am to 4:30pm at Health point Fitness in Jackson. Registration deadline is Friday, July 6, 2012. Call (573) 339-0121.
You can also support the cause by shopping at Kohl's as part of the Kohl's Cares program where proceeds of certain items help pay for diabetes care not covered by insurance.