Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

We are a group of Grade 12 students in Mr. Chateauvert’s Health Science class at D.C.V.I. We have created a public health campaign entitled Eat Right, Be Bright to educate you on the many risks associated with making improper nutrition choices, specifically choices that result in the development of type 2 diabetes. Although not all diseases and illnesses are preventable, people are less likely to be affected by them if they take care of themselves properly and make informed choices regarding their diet. After all, you truly are what you eat. The Public Health Agency of Canada estimated that type 2 diabetes in children has grown from 5% in 1994 to 20% in the recent years. Due to the newly developed risks in children, we feel that it is important to bring these health concerns to parents. By helping your child make healthy choices now, you can protect them in the future.

Often busy parents end up reaching for what is most convenient. This is not always the best decision for their health, but is all they have time for while they rush out the door. Although these pre-made, fast food choices are quick for families on the go, they do not provide the necessary nutrients for growing children. But, many parents end up taking this route simply because it is cheaper than buying fresh options in the grocery store. The increased number of fast food chains contributes to the growing obesity rates each year. More than 80% of all children and adolescents with type 2 diabetes are overweight. We feel that it is crucial for parents to know the risks and preventive measures so you can aid your children in making the most informed choices possible. You are able to influence your children’s decisions and help install proper nutritional habits that will guide them for the rest of their lives. The increase in type 2 diabetes will impact the overall public health, with a growing risk for other health concerns, both currently and in the future. Although some cases of type 2 diabetes are not preventable due to genes, we can prevent some with nutrition and proper health.

We have developed a guide for parents to provide you with all the information you need to know regarding your child’s health, your health and your future. We understand that buying healthy food is more expensive and sometimes more time consuming to make dinner, but by following our tips you’ll be able to save time and money. We think you’ll agree that the benefits greatly outweigh the costs. By living a healthy life today, you are creating a healthy life for tomorrow. For more information about type 2 diabetes in children, preventive measures and quick recipes for healthy dinner ideas, please visit http://goodnutrition-isourmission.weebly.com.

In good health,

Kyla Black, Natalie Topp, Brooke McIntosh and Annie Bolton

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