Eat Smart. Play Hard. Together!

May 4, 2012 in Diabetes, Diabetes Management, Health by Mary Ireland

Eat Smart. Play Hard. Together! is the slogan of a campaign from the North Dakota State University Extension service that promotes the value of family mealtime and regular physical activity. The website is interesting and very informational with links to online activities that encourage healthful eating and fun activities. It also provides links to information on food, nutrition and health topics. The fun, motivating video shows how the ability to play hard depends on healthy, nutritional eating. The site includes information for:

This type of information is even more important in view of a new report released this week. A study conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital evaluated the effectiveness of type 2 diabetes treatment in children. The trial consisted of 699 participants between the ages of 10 and 17 who have been diagnosed with diabetes for an average of 7.8 months. The methods of treatment were metformin alone, metformin plus rosiglitazone, and metformin plus lifestyle intervention. Only 45.6% of the children were able to control their diabetes using these treatments. The failure rates for these three treatments is as follows:

  • 51.7% for metformin alone
  • 38.6% for metformin plus rosiglitazone
  • 46.6% for metformin plus lifestyle intervention (a treatment that has worked well for adults)

Based on this study, metformin -- which is effective in treating adults with type 2 diabetes -- doesn't work as well with younger people. The failure rates were high even in the patients who strictly adhered to their treatment programs. In an interview, Dr. David M. Nathan author of the study stated, “It’s frightening how severe this metabolic disease is in children. It’s really got a hold on them, and it’s hard to turn around.”

If you are a frequent reader of our blogs, you know that the issue of diabetes is a favorite topic because of Dr. Grandpa's diabetes diagnosis in 2004. Using lifestyle changes similar to those that we advocate in our blog posts, Dr. Grandpa was able to overcome diabetes. While not everyone will be able to control diabetes without medication by losing weight, eating healthily, exercising, getting enough sleep and controlling stress levels, making these changes will improve the chances of it. Making these changes before a diabetes diagnosis will reduce the chances of becoming diabetic. Maintaining a healthy weight and living an active lifestyle is especially important for children.

Making lifestyles changes is probably never easy, but it isn't impossible. Most people often find hardest to get the motivation to implement changes. In her book, Motivation For Dummies, Gillian Burns talks about motivation and how you can use it to:

  • Boost your energy to achieve your goals
  • Summon up your enthusiasm to get started
  • Understand what's getting in your way
  • Change direction or behave differently
  • Show you how and when to get into action


Each person is unique in what motivates them to take action. The book offers great techniques for developing and maintaining motivation, as well as demonstrating the importance of role models. One of the biggest motivations for parents and caregivers to lead a healthy lifestyle is knowing that they are powerful role models to the children in their care. If you feel overwhelmed by the challenge of converting your motivation for a healthy lifestyle into action, there are many resources available to you -- such as the website I mentioned at the beginning of this blog. Perhaps a good starting place is to find a role model of your own. From the pages of Thin for Life: 10 Keys to Success from People Who Have Lost Weight and Kept It Off or the contestants on The Biggest Loser, there are many sources of role models.

Remember too that Dr. Grandma's website offers you a wealth of information. From our blog posts, to Dr. Grandma's cooking tips as well as great products and yummy recipes, we are here to help you and those you love and care for.