Fact: Diabetes Isn't Caused by Eating Too Much Sugar
While type 2 is typically related to being overweight, sugar has no greater impact on glucose levels in the blood than other types of carbohydrates like rice and potatoes. Doctors are concerned about sugar mainly because it's found in fattening foods like cookies and ice cream that children love. "Children who are at high risk of type 2 diabetes don't simply eat too much sugar, they eat too much of everything," says Dr. Dabelea. Kids who already have diabetes need to limit sweets and simple carbs in order to keep their blood sugar in line, but even a child with type 1 diabetes can eat a brownie every now and then as long as she takes extra insulin to help her body process the sugar, says M. Jennifer Abuzzahab, MD, an endocrinologist at Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, in St. Paul.