Health Advice



Don't let your child's prediabetes be a prequel to high drama

By Michael Roizen, M.D. on

The 10-episode prequel to "Game of Thrones," "House of the Dragon," lays out how the House of Targaryen got entangled in a civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons. Fans are debating whether or not it pales in comparison to the original series.

While the verdict on that is not in yet, we know for sure that when kids have a prequel to diabetes -- prediabetes -- they can be in for some pretty high drama if they don't get it under control. And, that's a challenge ever more kids are facing.

A 20-year study published in JAMA Pediatrics reveals that the incidence of prediabetes in 12- to 19-year-olds ballooned from 1999 to 2018. Males were especially affected: Their rate jumped from 15.8% to 36.4% at the study's end. Females' rates went from 7.15% to 19.6%. Prediabetes was defined as having an A1c of 5.7% to 6.4% or a fasting plasma glucose level of 100 mg/dL to 125 mg/dL.

So, Mom and Dad, ask your pediatrician to do a glucose test when your child is in for a checkup. When kids have un-reversed prediabetes, it increases their risk for premature diabetes, heart and kidney disease, arthritis, cancer, mental dysfunction and more.

Weight gain and sedentary behavior are prime drivers of prediabetes in children and teens. The solutions are to eliminate fast- and highly processed foods and added sugars and encourage kids to play, join organized sports and put down their digital screens. Let their childhood be a prequel to a healthy, happy adulthood!



Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email

(c)2022 Michael Roizen, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2022 Michael Roizen, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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