Here is a call to action from Francine Ratner Kaufman, MD, is president of the American Diabetes Association. She is a professor of pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California and head of the Center for Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolism at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.
It is time for our schools and communities to start to play a role in the prevention of diabetes in children. Here is a call to action
- Schools can focus on increasing children’s physical activity and improving their nutrition.
- Nutrition counseling needs to be available in school so that children understand the importance of healthy eating.
- The selling of candy and sugar-containing drinks in schools must be forbidden.
- Fast foods loaded with calories and fat must not be available in school settings.
- Every food item sold in school must meet a minimum nutritional requirement that will ensure that it is good for children. We must put the health and welfare of our children above the financial benefits accrued by selling junk food in school.
- Other community organizations must also help. Our communities need to develop safe locations for children and their families to exercise.
- After-school care programs need to include physical activities and provide good nutrition.
- From the fast-food industry to Madison Avenue to Hollywood, the principles of good health—exercise and good nutrition—must be promoted.
We are in the midst of an epidemic. There is a role for each of us in helping to put an end to the rise of this devastating disease in children. “