There is a wonderful alternative to diets that rely on willpower, one that parents already use with their children: HABITS. Every parent relies on the strategy of habits to teach their children a variety of important behaviors, from looking both ways before crossing the street, to saying please and thank you.

One important example is teaching kids the good health habit of brushing their teeth. Parents spend many hours, first brushing teeth for their child, then with them, then reminding them to brush on their own, until the habit is ingrained.

Habits have the advantage of being behaviors we do almost without thinking. This is what makes them a better long-term solution. Unlike willpower that will break down eventually, habits are behaviors that endure. You can rely on habits for a lifetime.

How does this relate to type 2 diabetes and the obsity that triggers it in children? I am simply suggesting that parents teach their children a few more good habits, including some about eating and exercise. Reversing the obesity trend requires a lifestyle change. Changing your lifestyle doesn't have to be an overwhelming task. I have found that developing a few new good health habits you can rely on will do the job.

The Diabetes Families program will guide you through helping your children establish more healthy habits.

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