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T1D and overweight

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by scarral, Mar 26, 2016.

  1. scarral

    scarral Approved members

    Feb 22, 2016
    My husband is concerned about the possibility that my son having T1D might make him (my son) more likely to become overweight. What are your thoughts/experiences about that?
  2. Mish

    Mish Approved members

    Aug 20, 2009
    My thoughts? Your son is 3. Your husband needs to lay off the weight talk. At age 3, your son needs to eat a normal, healthy, toddler diet. Worth noting for later in life; eating disorders are not unusual in all kids with type 1. There is nothing normal about a life that has to be centered around meticulously knowing every morsel that goes into our kids mouths. So, the best thing to do at this point is to normalize eating as much as humanly possible.

    There is a danger that too much insulin does lead to being overweight. But, not every kid has a problem with it. Mine doesn't - he's a ridiculously thin almost 16 year old. But at 3 years old, it shouldn't even be on your radar.
  3. Lakeman

    Lakeman Approved members

    Nov 10, 2010
    Your son will learn to meticulously count his carbs and also to evaluate his food in terms of glycemic index and the fat content so he can dose for fat at some point. This focus on food will hopefully let him be more aware of food choices compared to an average American who eats too much with little thought. Normal Americans do not eat healthy so why aspire to be normal? Focus on teaching him to eat healthy rather than on eating normal with whatever balance you need to strike. Let healthy be normal. I would think for many people this would lessen the odds that poor habits will lead to weight gain. I do not thank having diabetes in itself would lead to weight gain.

    Yes insulin is the "weight gain" hormone but only if you have to much insulin which is determined by how many carbs you eat and how many corrections you need. These are choices and are not out of ones control.

    I do think that losing weight once it is already gained is more of a challenge for a type 1. Am I right on that everyone?
  4. sarahspins

    sarahspins Approved members

    May 5, 2009
    Ditto this... none of my kids have T1, but their physical shape at 3 (within reason) has very little to do with their adult size/shape. Toddlers come in all shapes and sizes. My 15 year old was a chunky toddler, but now he barely has any body fat (dad was the same way, didn't start putting on weight/muscle until into his 20's). My 8 year old was a super scrawny toddler, and now he looks chubby, but is not actually overweight - it's more than he's not super skinny any more. Maybe he will be as he gets older, it's hard to say.

    Follow a normal healthy diet just as you would without T1, and encourage him to be active (that is the #1 reason that kids gain weight - it starts with inactivity, NOT food) and don't worry about it too much.
  5. Snowflake

    Snowflake Approved members

    Dec 1, 2013
    I don't think there's anything wrong with asking this question, even if it's a future concern. My dd was dxed at 2, and I had enough worry to spare about organized sports, teenage recklessness, and pregnancy, all decades in the future at the time of diagnosis. This kind of question is what the forum is for, right?

    That said, a t1 diagnosis is in no way determinative of obesity. Just make sure your kid eats well and has a reasonable level of activity, and intervene if you have any concerns - all things you would do with or without diabetes. Like other posters, my dd has remained super lean. And when we go to T1 gatherings, my anecdotal observation has been that the t1 kids look like a completely average sampling of American kids, with a full spectrum of body shapes/heights/sizes.
  6. Cheetah-cub

    Cheetah-cub Approved members

    Feb 18, 2014
    It seems that the T1 adults that I have met are not overweight. They are actually on the thin side.
  7. MomofSweetOne

    MomofSweetOne Approved members

    Aug 28, 2011
    Some of the perception of T1D and weight gain may be left from the days when the options of management were not what they are today, and feeding the insulin was often necessary.

    To the OP: I'd encourage your husband to read up on diabulemia so that he's aware of why weight needs to be addressed in a healthy manner. Being thin with diabetes does not necessarily equal being healthy.
  8. dpr

    dpr Approved members

    Dec 17, 2013
    Insulin won't make him fat but eating like crap sure will. It's almost that simple. Feed him healthy food and along with a reasonable amount of exorcise and as long as everything else health wise is good watch him grow like a weed in a good way :)
  9. wilf

    wilf Approved members

    Aug 27, 2007
    Exactly this! It is up to you as parents to feed your child healthy food, and to make sure he gets out to play lots. You do that, and everything else will take care of itself.
  10. sammysmom

    sammysmom Approved members

    Oct 30, 2005
    I would say that having type 1 is not going to be the reason he is overweight (if it does happen). If your child starts to become overweight you'll have to look at the real cause, which is most likely lack of exercise and poor food choices. Being overweight is more of a lifestyle family issue than a diabetic issue. My kiddo was dx as a baby, is almost 15 and is short, muscular and thin. None of that has anything to do with his diabetes. If he were short and overweight it would not be due to diabetes either. At age 3, your kiddo may go through phases where he puts a little weight on and then sprouts up. He has a toddler body and that happens. I would not worry too much about weight issues due to diabetes.

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