Health Library Explorer
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z A-Z Listings Contact Us

March 2024

Protecting Your Child from Chronic Diseases

Chronic diseases are long-lasting health conditions that require ongoing care. You might think that such diseases are only an issue for adults. But 2 in 5 school-aged kids are affected, too. Here are answers to common questions about reducing your child’s risk of developing many chronic diseases.

Which chronic diseases are on the rise in kids, and why?

Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure are 2 conditions that have become more common in youth. One reason is that both are linked to being overweight. That’s a major health issue for children and teens.

Is there any way I can help my child avoid these diseases?

There’s a lot you can do! Building healthy habits that promote good nutrition and regular physical activity and adequate sleep can help your child:

  • Maintain a healthy weight

  • Keep blood sugar at a normal level

  • Lower blood pressure

  • Prevent many health problems, now and in the future

How can I encourage good eating, exercise and sleeping habits?

Follow these tips:

  • Offer a variety of healthy foods. Provide lots of veggies, fruits, and whole grains. Include low-fat dairy products and varied proteins (such as fish, chicken, lean meats, and beans).

  • Be a role model for wise eating. Choose foods low in added sugars, saturated fat, and salt. Your child will learn from your example.

  • Stay physically active together. Take a walk, go for a bike ride, play catch, do yoga, or dance around the living room.

  • Set a sleep schedule. Have the same bedtime and wake-up time each day, including the weekends.

It’s easier to build good habits as a child or teen than to break bad habits as an adult. By setting up a healthy lifestyle now, you’re also supporting your child’s well-being for years to come.



Date Last Reviewed: 3/1/2024
© 2000-2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
Contact Our Health Professionals
Follow Us
The health content and information on this site is made possible through the generous support of the Haspel Education Fund.
StayWell Disclaimer