Serving Nebraska for 65 Years!

Diabetes, Exercise and Nutrition


The Nebraska Diabetes Control Program

The Nebraska Diabetes Control Program (NDCP) works to reduce or prevent complications and premature death for Nebraskans with diabetes.

The NDCP strives to educate persons with diabetes, their families, and health professionals. One of the primary functions of the NDCP is to update information and training materials to ensure application of current knowledge and treatment of diabetes.


Other Links

Marketing Materials

These materials can be modified to include your contact information and to meet local needs.

PowerPoint Presentation on Type 2 Diabetes in Youth

Fact Sheets and brochures
Diabetes Fact Sheet in Microsoft Word
Diabetes Fact Sheet in Adobe Acrobat

Type 2 Diabetes in Youth Fact Sheet in Microsoft Word
Type 2 Diabetes in Youth Fact Sheet in Adobe Acrobat

Nutrition Brochure in Microsoft Word
Nutrition Brochure in Adobe Acrobat

Physical Activity Fact Sheet in Microsoft Word
Physical Activity Fact Sheet in Adobe Acrobat


Childhood Overweight and Type II Diabetes

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in children and adolescents; about 151,000 people below the age of 20 years have diabetes.

When diabetes strikes during childhood, it is routinely assumed to be type 1, or juvenile-onset diabetes. However, in the last 2 decades, type 2 diabetes (formerly known as adult-onset diabetes) has been reported among U.S. children and adolescents with increasing frequency. Also, studies conducted in Europe showed an increase in the frequency of type 1 diabetes, especially in young children. It is unclear whether the frequency of type 1 diabetes is also increasing among U.S. youth.


  • Each year, more than 13,000 young people are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
  • Type 2 diabetes begins when the body develops a resistance to insulin and no longer uses the insulin properly. As the need for insulin rises, the pancreas gradually loses its ability to produce sufficient amounts of insulin to regulate blood sugar.
  • Health care providers are finding more and more children with type 2 diabetes, a disease usually diagnosed in adults aged 40 years or older.
  • A statistically significant increase in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes among children and adolescents was found only for American Indians.
  • The epidemics of obesity and the low level of physical activity among young people, as well as exposure to diabetes in utero, may be major contributors to the increase in type 2 diabetes during childhood and adolescence.
  • Type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents already appears to be a sizable and growing problem among U.S. children and adolescents.
  • Better physician awareness and monitoring of the disease’s magnitude will be necessary.
  • Standard case definition(s), guidelines for treatment, and approval of oral hypoglycemic agents (to lower blood sugar) are urgently required for children and adolescents.

Children and adolescents diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are generally between 10 and 19 years old, obese, have a strong family history for type 2 diabetes, and have insulin resistance.

Did You Know That…

  • Obese children and adolescents have shown an alarming increase in the incidence of type 2 diabetes, also known as adult-onset diabetes.
  • Many obese children have high cholesterol and blood pressure levels, which are risk factors for heart disease.
  • One of the most severe problems for obese children is sleep apnea (interrupted breathing while sleeping). In some cases this can lead to problems with learning and memory.
  • Obese children have a high incidence of orthopedic problems, liver disease, and asthma.
  • Overweight adolescents have a 70 percent chance of becoming overweight or obese adults.

A Word to the Wise…Help your children maintain a healthy body weight

  • Be supportive. Children know if they are overweight and don’t need to be reminded or singled out. They need acceptance, encouragement and love.
  • Set guidelines for the amount of time your children can spend watching television or playing video games.
  • Plan family activities that involve exercise. Instead of watching TV, go hiking or biking, wash the car, or walk around a mall. Offer choices and let your children decide.
  • Be sensitive. Find activities your children will enjoy that aren’t difficult or could cause embarrassment.
  • Eat meals together as a family and eat at the table, not in front of a television. Eat slowly and enjoy the food.
  • Don’t use food as a reward or punishment. Children should not be placed on restrictive diets, unless done so by a doctor (for medical reasons). Children need food for growth, development and energy.
  • Involve your children in meal planning and grocery shopping. This helps them learn and gives them a role in the decision making.
  • Keep healthy snacks on hand. Good options include fresh, frozen, or canned fruits and vegetables; low-fat cheese, yogurt or ice cream; frozen fruit juice bars; and cookies such as fig bars, graham crackers, gingersnaps or vanilla wafers.
  • Focus on small, gradual changes in eating and activity patterns. This helps form habits that can last a lifetime.


Recent research shows a surge in children diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Whereas fewer than 4 percent of childhood diabetes cases in 1990 were type 2, that number has risen to approximately 20 percent, varying from 8 percent to 45 percent, depending on the age of the group studied (type 2 is most frequent in the 10 to 19 year age group in pediatric practice) and the racial/ethnic mix of the group studied. Of the children diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, 85 percent are obese.

Most children are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes during middle-to-late puberty. Physicians fear that as the childhood population becomes increasingly overweight and less active, more type 2 diabetes may occur in younger pre-pubescent children.

Children who are sedentary, overeat, and have a family history of diabetes are most at risk of contracting type 2 diabetes. Minority populations have an especially high rate of type 2 diabetes.

Additional Resources


Steps to a HealthierUS — HHS is targeting diabetes with the Secretary Thompson’s Prevention initiative Steps to a HealthierUS, to prevent obesity and the onset of type 2 diabetes through community initiatives to achieve healthier lifestyles.

Diabetes At Work — HHS partners with the Washington Business Group on Health to support a “worksite Web site” with industry and business associations ( to help companies meet the burgeoning diabetes epidemic head on.

HHS’ Special Diabetes Program for Indians — This $150 million program, administered by HHS’ Indian Health Service, promotes strategies for the prevention and treatment of diabetes and its complications for American Indians and Alaska Natives. More information is available at

Resources for children with diabetes and their families
There is a free newsletter for parents of children with diabetes too.

The AK DPCP has worked with the ADA to distribute the “wisdom kit” to students with diabetes. The kit is a “kit of wit and wisdom for kids with diabetes (and their parents)” developed by the ADA. see:

Diabetes materials in Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian
Here is some information from the Minnesota Diabetes Program about diabetes materials in Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian. Per the MN DPCP, the difference between Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian language is more political difference than linguistic difference. The actual difference is no greater than 5%. And, Serbian is nearly the same as Bosnian, except it uses Cyrilic fonts (like Russian) instead of Latin fonts.

The Translated Health Resources Exchange is an exciting collaboration among more than a dozen health care organizations in Minnesota, all of them interested in health care for the foreign-born patient. Representatives of these organizations are exploring ways to share the responsibility and cost of creating and distributing health education materials for non-English speaking patients.

* We ask that you credit the Public Health Association of Nebraska and the Health Care Cash Fund when using the materials marked with an astrick (*).


Exercise and Nutrition

Food Marketing to Children and Youth

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has released a report entitled “Food Marketing to Children and Youth: Threat or Opportunity?” The report found that while there is no conclusive proof that junk food marketing leads to childhood obesity, evidence does show that such ads cause kids to eat more high-calorie foods. The study’s authors — experts in psychology, nutrition, law, and education — argued that advertising standards must be higher for young children than for adults. The report recommended that food companies stop using characters like SpongeBob SquarePants to sell high calorie, low nutrition foods.

To read “Food Marketing to Children and Youth,” visit the National Academies Press:

School Lunch and Nutrition

Increased rates of obesity and diabetes among young children have heightened parents’ concerns about the quality of food available to their children through school breakfast and lunch programs. Parents have also expressed concerns about snack foods sold in vending machines, and candies and other “junk foods” sold as fund-raisers. A number of school communities are exploring how they can strengthen school policies related to breakfast, lunch and snacks on campus.

AHRQ Announces Expanded Resource to Help Adults Stay Healthy

If you and your clients or patients have questions about which preventive services they need and when they need them, you’ll want to know about an important new free publication for consumers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. AHRQ released a revised and expanded booklet for health care consumers called The Pocket Guide to Good Health for Adults. The Pocket Guide, available in English and Spanish languages, includes tips and recommendations on good health habits, screening tests, and immunizations. It provides easy-to-use charts to help track personal health information and includes questions to ask health care providers, as well as resources to contact for additional information.

As an update to the Put Prevention Into Practice program’s Personal Health Guide, the new Pocket Guide is based on the most current research-based recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The Pocket Guide is available on the AHRQ Web site in English at and in Spanish at Copies of this publication and related materials are available from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse by calling (800) 358-9295 or sending an E-mail to

* We ask that you credit the Public Health Association of Nebraska and the Health Care Cash Fund when using the materials marked with an astrick (*).


This page is sponsored, in part, through a grant from the American Public Health Association and Pfizer.

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