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    Texas Diabetes Program - Council
    MC 1965
    PO Box 149347 Austin, Texas 78714-9347
    1100 West 49th Street
    Austin, TX 78756

    Phone: (512) 776-7490
    Fax: (512) 776-7408

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Diabetes Among Youth

Texas Diabetes Council Diabetes Care Diabetes in childhood is mainly type 1, an autoimmune disorder that destroys insulin-producing cells, requiring multiple daily insulin injections or a pump. About one in every 400 to 600 children and adolescents has type 1 diabetes. Clinically-based reports and regional studies suggest that type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents, although still rare, is being diagnosed more frequently, particularly in American Indians, African Americans, and Hispanic/Latino Americans.

While some risk factors for type 2 diabetes cannot be controlled, others can. Type 2 diabetes appears to have a genetic basis, which is beyond an individual’s control. But it also is related to obesity and sedentary lifestyle, which, with few exceptions, can be controlled through diet and physical activity. Studies show that, regardless of ethnicity, more than 20 percent of severely overweight children and adolescents have Impaired Glucose Tolerance, or pre-diabetes. Lifestyle is key to being fit and preventing obesity, and, for many, lifestyle habit changes are urgently needed. The family is primary, but school and community must be included in instituting and supporting positive dietary and physical activity changes. Children are influenced by and limited by their environment. Maintaining a diet balanced in fat calories and nutrients, increasing moderate to vigorous physical activity to at least 30 minutes a day, and limiting sedentary activities are essential lifestyle changes that need reinforcement.


 Assessing Physical Activity and Adiposity in Children


The University of Texas at Austin, Department of Kinesiology and Health Education has developed a Resource Guide for Predictive Factors and Methods of Assessing Physical Activity and Adiposity in Children. (PDF, 275 kb, viewing information)

The purpose of this report is three-fold:

  • provides a detailed review of literature regarding the predictive factors for overweight/adiposity and physical activity in children.
  • serves as a resource guide in determining what methods are available to measure both adiposity and physical activity in children, identifying which methods are most suitable for use in communities and which are more useful in research settings, and providing a discussion of the values and limitations of each of the methods identified.
  • provides quick reference resource charts for health professionals/health educators to use in making evidence-based decisions when either developing or reviewing any proposed projects.


 Texas Pediatric Diabetes Research Advisory Committee


During the 77th Texas Legislature, the Texas Diabetes Council was instrumental in the passage of a landmark bill that created the Pediatric Diabetes Research Advisory Committee (Senate Bill 1456/House Bill 3155). The charges to the Committee were to:

  • Develop a plan to research pediatric diabetes and associated medical conditions in Texas,
  • Assess the resources and talent of institutions in Texas as possible sites for research opportunities,
  • Analyze the impact of diabetes on the economy of Texas and on the health of its residents, and
  • Make recommendations to the Legislature and the Governor concerning research programs in pediatric diabetes and funding alternatives for the programs.

Senate Bill 19
The Texas Diabetes Council advocated for Senate Bill 19 during the 77th Legislature. This bill amended the Education Code to authorize the State Board of Education to require elementary school students to participate in daily physical activity as part of a school district’s physical education curriculum. The Board adopted the new requirements in the spring of 2002, and each school district is required to implement a program approved by the agency in each elementary school in the district no later than September 1, 2007.


 Texas Pediatric Diabetes Research Publications


Pediatric Diabetes Research in Texas -
TDH Publication Number: E45-11653
The report from the Texas Pediatric Diabetes Research Advisory Committee to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Speaker of the House of Representatives recommends that diabetes in children be a reportable disease and that the state create a Texas Pediatric Diabetes Research Resource. To read the Advisory Committee’s complete report, click here (PDF format, file size 399 kb).

Type 2 Diabetes and Children . . .
TDH Publication Number: E45-10961; TDH Publication Number: E45-10960
The product of a twelve-month study, the Type 2 Diabetes in Children and Adolescents Statewide Action Plan (PDF format, 202 KB) outlines the significant steps that should be taken to combat this emerging problem in Texas. Also view the companion to this report, Putting the Brakes on Diabetes: A Community Planning Guide to Improve Health and Nutrition for Texas Children and Adolescents and Reduce the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes (PDF format, 407 KB).


Evaluating for Insulin Resistance. . .


Pediatric overweight is increasingly common. In response to inquiries, the Texas Department of State Health Services offers this resource information for primary care clinicians.

Click here to view (PDF, 52 kb)


 Coordinated School Health Programs


Senate Bill 19 (SB 19), enacted in 2001 by the 77th Texas Legislature and amended by the 78th Texas Legislature, requires each school district, by September 1, 2007, to participate in training for the implementation of an approved coordinated school health program designed to prevent obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes in elementary school students.

View Resources for Coordinated School Health Programs (Link to Texas Education Agency)

Last updated April 16, 2012