Poor Eating Habit Cause of Diabetes in Children , Says Expert


Diabetes monitor

Martins Ifijeh
With children increasingly becoming diagnosed of diabetes, health experts have called on parents and guardians to monitor the eating habits of their children, as poor dietary pattern could lead to obesity and diabetes in the children.

Speaking at the launch of Nova Max plus in Lagos in collaboration with Union Diagnostic and Clinical Service Plc and Nova Biomedical Company, Prof. Dr. Anthonia Ogbera, said the major types of diabetes are the type 1 and Types 11 diabetes, adding that the type I was mostly found in children when they inherit the disease from their parent, while the type 11 was mostly detected in adults who develop diabetes while growing up.

But the Professor, who wondered why the case was becoming the other way round, said type 11 diabetes was now being detected in children, especially of 14 to 15 years of age.

‘’Talking of children who are obese, we detect signs of insulin in them which are not working well. There is the general belief that people with type 1 diabetes don’t have enough insulin,- but these group of children have insulin, only that they are not working well just like we see in adults. The sole reason for this is poor eating habit, and this is what parents and guardians must work on.”

She said even though Nigeria was yet to have a good and accurate percentage of people living with diabetes, the last survey carried out on diabetes in Nigeria was in the 1997 which put the percentage of people with diabetes at 2.2 per cent, noting that the country’s population was 90 million at the time.

“On figures, it is only Lagos that has good figure on diabetes. The last survey carried out was about four years ago and it was six per cent of the over 20 million population in the state, but our estimate today will be between eight to 12 per cent of people living with diabetes in Lagos state.”

She said one of the major killers of people with diabetes was ketone, adding that there has been dearth of diagnostic facilities in the country to test for the disease. “But with the introduction of a Nova metre, patients can do quick diagnosis and know if they are tending towards diabetes or not. And this will save millions of lives.”

Educating further on ketone in diabetes, Ogbera said “Ketones are seen in the blood and in the urine in people who have a complication of diabetes, it is called diabetic ketoacidosis,” adding that if such patients were not properly taken care of, they could go into coma or die because of high glucose level. “But with the diabetes metre, one is not only going to measure the glucose level in the body but ketone level as well,” she said.

In order for early detection of diabetes for, Ogbera advocated for opportunistic screening “If you see your doctor for what ever reason, try not to leave him or her without checking your sugar level. His will make you continuously up to date with your status. Any body above 30 years of age should get involved in opportunistic screening.”

Lending his voice, the Senior Director, International Sales for Nova, Mr. Keneth Lumm, said diabetes in children was very lethal and could lead to death if not managed on time.

He said, diabetes issue has been a major concern not only in Nigeria but in the world at large, adding that many people were not aware that they were having diabetes.

According to the Managing Director, Union Diagnostic and Clinical Service, Dr. Olusola Akinniyi, diabetes in children was mostly cause by consumption of fast foods and lack of exercise.

He said the worry of every doctor was that people do not present their cases in time, adding that this was mainly due to their lack of awareness of their health status. ‘’When they know they have diabetes, there is the likelihood of accessing health facilities for treatment.”

Akinniyi, who recommended Nova metre for diabetes screening, said about four per cent of deaths in the country were caused by wrong measurement and inaccurate metre.