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Defeat Diabetes
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School-based Program Cuts Children's Diabetes Risk

Posted: Wednesday, September 29, 2004

A school-based prevention program leads to statistically significant increases in fitness levels and reductions in fasting glucose levels, for children at high risk for developing diabetes.

Dr. Roberto P. Trevino, of the Social & Health Research Center in San Antonio, Texas, stated that, "A small but significant decrease in their blood sugar levels signifies the potential of controlling diabetes in these youth with behavior interventions alone."

The main objectives of the program, which has been operating in numerous inner-city elementary schools in San Antonio for 8 years, are to lower saturated fat intake and increase dietary fiber intake and physical activity, Trevino's team explains in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

 

The program consists of a health class and physical education curriculum, a family program, a school cafeteria program and an after-school health club.

The researchers followed 1221 children who were about 10 years old on average. Half of them were enrolled in the program, and took part in an average of 32 sessions.

After seven months, fitness scores and dietary fiber intake increased significantly in the participants compared with the non-participating comparison group, but body fat and dietary saturated fat intake was unchanged.

However, average fasting glucose levels fell in the intervention children and increased in the control children. The researchers say that "the positive effect of lifestyle changes" is encouraging.

Moreover, Trevino concluded, the program helped children from low-income households in particular, where obesity and a family history of diabetes is clustered, "by changing their environment -- home, school cafeteria, after school and health class -- and teaching them healthy knowledge, beliefs and attitudes."

 

 

Source:  Diabetes In Control.com

 
 
 
 
 
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