The Centers for Disease Control announced in October that by 2050, up to one-third of all adults will have diabetes. That’s our teenagers when they hit middle age.

Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness and medical amputations – usually feet or legs, and is a major contributor to heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure.

Diabetes is largely preventable by eating less sugar, limiting fast food, banning high fructose corn syrup from the diet, eating plenty of fresh natural foods, and exercising at least 30 minutes a day.

Theirs is also the first generation in a century predicted to be significantly less healthy as adults than their parents.

It’s not too late to make lifestyle choices that will help them live healthier lives. Simple changes include:

• Buy breads, catsups, tomato sauces and other foods with no high fructose corn syrup.
• Serve soft drinks as an occasional treat, and then choose drinks sweetened with cane sugar.
• Consider limiting sugary desserts to weekends, birthdays and holidays. On weekdays serve fruit or yogurt for dessert.
• As much as possible, serve whole grain breads, cereals, and brown rice.
• Sneak grated or pureed vegetables into as many foods as possible.
• Be active together. Family walks, games of tag in the backyard, and turning on the stereo and dancing indoors are all no-cost, fun ways to encourage fitness and family closeness.

Talk to your children about why you are making changes. Encourage their input. Accept that you don’t have much control over the choices they make away from home, but feeding them healthfully at home will compensate for some of their poor choices and might even influence their choices.

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Author's Bio: 

Lisa Siegle is the writer and editor for Northwest Media, Inc., of Eugene, OR. Northwest Media, Inc., produces This article first appeared in the free monthly newsletter for parents, "Connections."