Processed food, leading cause of diabetes in children


Dr Banjo Babatunde, a pediatrician has advised mothers and caregivers to restrain from using preserved food saying it is another cause of diabetes in children.

Babatunde spoke with newsmen. He said food that had preservatives have harmful effect on body organs like the liver and kidney.

“Food preserved like mostly canned food and yoghurt are contributory factors of diabetes in children now, and not only diabetes, but such processed foods also cause severe health problems,” Babatunde said.

He therefore advised mothers and caregivers to cultivate the habit of giving their children only fresh food.

Babatunde said parents and caregivers should always look out for increased thirst and frequent urination as warning signs of diabetes among children.

“Excess sugar building up in your child’s bloodstream pulls fluid from tissues. Extreme hunger, weight loss are signs and symptoms of diabetes in children.

“This is in addition to fatigue, irritability or behavior changes, fruity-smelling breath, blurred vision are all symptoms.

“If a child shows any of these and bluish tinge to the lips or fingers, they are symptoms that an infant might be hypoglycemic and a glucose test should be performed,” he said.

Babatunde said diabetes in children were of two types, insulin dependent and non -insulin dependent, but added that the commonest was the Type 1 insulin dependent.

” Type 1 diabetes is a chronic illness characterized by the body’s inability to produce insulin due to the auto-immune destruction of the beta cells in the pancreas.

“Most pediatric patients with diabetes have Type 1 and a lifetime dependence on exogenous insulin,” he said

Babatunde added that Type 2 or non -insulin dependent could also affect infants, adding that “insulin resistance is the primary cause of Type 2 diabetes, as a result both insulin and blood sugar level in the body continue to rise.”

The paediatrician explained that certain medical conditions or genetic disorders such as Down Syndrome could cause this type of diabetes as well.

According to him, kids with Type 1 diabetes needed to take insulin as prescribed, eat healthy, balanced diet, and pay special attention to the amount of carbohydrates in each meal.

Babatunde said they should also check blood sugar levels several times a day and get into regular physical activities.