Expert raises alarm over rising incidence of diabetes in children

Associate Professor of Medicine, College of Health Science, University of Abuja, Dr. Felicia Anuma, has advised parents and guardians to reduce children’s consumption of junk foods and sweets.

Speaking on a television programme monitored in Lagos on 2013 World Diabetes Day, the expert in diabetes and endocrinology revealed that a project carried out in 24 schools at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were shocking on the likely negative impact of feeding children  with sweets, chocolates and ice cream.

Warning that indulging children in junk foods regularly is a way of breeding diabetes in children, she urged parents and guardians to minimize excessive consumption of sugar based food items for children.

She said, “Children should be stopped from excessive consumption of ice cream, chocolate and others in this category. It is surprising that parents encourage their children to love these food items. Children being what they are, children are smart people that can easily be fed with awareness on behaviour change. I am not calling for outright ban from the little they indulge but give once a while.

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“This monster that must be talked about now and mount serious awareness and enlightenment. What the statistic shows is that all of us should do something positive about the disease. It is a time bomb”, she said.

Lamenting on the eating habits of most adults in work places, she explained that busy executives and workers who indulge in eating doughnuts, meat pies with cold bottles of carbonated should desist in order to guide against increase in blood sugar.

Alternatively to junk foods, the expert suggested that good intake of fruits in the afternoon and vegetables prepared from in small containers are more edible than engaging in food items that could trigger diabetes.

Regrettably, she said the problem is getting people to key into the awareness and campaigns so that Nigerians can age gracefully without getting caught up by diabetes. I have a programme in conjunction with diabetes foundation. Her org is doing the work in secondary schools because children are smart people that can easily be fed with awareness on behaviour change.

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Making a case for a disciplined life style, she explained that the symptoms of the disease manifests in suffers in several ways, adding that in some cases it is drowsiness, weakness, feeling sleepy all the time and difficulties in seeing things clearly as a result of high sugar in the eye.

She cautioned suffers against applying general knowledge, adding that the best alternative is to seek for treatment from experts trained to take care of the disease where modalities for treatment and management of the situation will be clearly laid out.

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