First education programme for children with type 2 launches

By Editor
11th December 2018
Paediatrics, Type 2 diabetes Type 2 prevention

One of the world’s first education programmes for children with type 2 diabetes has been launched in Leicester.

Despite type 1 diabetes being the most common type of diabetes seen in children and young people, latest figures from Diabetes UK show a record 6,836 children and young people under the age of 25 have type 2 diabetes in the UK, with 50 of those being in Leicester.

In a drive to help young people in the city tackle their type 2 diabetes and make positive changes to their lifestyle, the Leicester Diabetes Centre, in partnership with Leicester’s Hospitals, has launched ‘iCAN Live Well With Diabetes’.

iCAN Live Well With Diabetes is a structured education programme developed especially for children and young people with type 2 diabetes and their families. 

Together with their parents or carers, children and teenagers are invited to attend 4 two-hour workshops designed to empower them to take control of their diabetes and make positive changes to their lifestyle. The first intake began the course last month.

Professor Melanie Davies CBE,Professor of Diabetes Medicine at the University of Leicester and Co-Director of the Leicester Diabetes Centre, a partnership and collaboration between Leicester’s Hospitals and the University of Leicester, said: “It is hoped this ground-breaking service will go a long way to making a positive impact to the lives of children and young people with type 2 diabetes.

“To date, most of the research and lifestyle advice about type 2 diabetes has been directed at older adults with the condition. There is very little research data to support or understand the best treatment options in children and young people.

“However, we do know that it is very important that type 2 diabetes is controlled in the young, because failure to do so can lead to diabetes complications developing much earlier and more aggressively when compared to their peers with type 1 diabetes or adults diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

“Several risk factors are commonly seen in those who develop type 2 diabetes at a young age. We know that young people with the condition usually have a strong family history of diabetes and come from black and minority ethnic groups, these risk factors that cannot be changed. However, other risk factors, such as being overweight, having an unhealthy diet, sitting a lot and low activity levels can be changed.”

Dr Premkumar Sundaram,Consultant Paediatrician and Paediatric Diabetologist from Leicester’s Hospitals, said: “Even though type 1 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes in children and young people, we have seen an increased prevalence of type 2diabetes in our multidisciplinary paediatric diabetes clinic in the last 10 years, and most of them are from ethnic minorities.

“I CAN Live Well With Diabetesis a structured education programme for children and young people with type 2 diabetes to improve their lifestyle and adopt healthy choices. We hope this programme will empower our children and young people and their families to make vital changes to their lifestyle and improve their health.”

TheiCAN Live Well With Diabetesprogramme is made up of four workshops which focus on the following areas:

  • iCAN make sense of my diabetes
  • iCAN make healthy snack choices
  • iCAN build healthier meals
  • iCAN be more active
  • iCAN manage my thoughts and feelings

Feedback from the first workshop was extremely positive with one participant saying:“I learnt a lot about healthy living and how to deal with my diabetes…”

One parent said: “I think it is a really good idea for youngsters to go to these sessions. Very positive.” 

With more than a third of children in England (34 per cent) overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school, thousands more could be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in the next few years. There is a desperate need to provide tailored support for these young people with type 2 diabetes

To book a place on the iCAN Live Well With Diabetes programme call 0116 2588989.

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