September 23, 1999
Genetics and Heredity, Research: Causes and Prevention
Question from Hong Kong:
Is it true that Caucasian children are more prone to develop Type 1 than Asian children? I’m an Asian 30-year-old Type 2 male and I’m really worried about if my 3-year-old and future children will be diabetic. Will it reduce the risk if I control his sugar input as much as possible?
It is true that the incidence of Type 1A (autoimmune) diabetes is much less common in Asian children than Caucasian. The inheritance of Type 2 diabetes is different, however, than for Type 1, and is also becoming a much more complex matter so that there are really no figures for the probability of your children one day developing diabetes. You could not change an inherited susceptibility to diabetes by diet; but you could minimise the likelihood of it converting to clinical diabetes by encouraging regular exercise and helping your child to avoid becoming overweight.