WATCH: Tim Noakes explains how diet affects children's odds of diabetes

Professor Tim Noakes, a scientist, author and Banting diet advocate, has urged parents to take preventative measures to protect their children from diabetes.

The professor explains that diet plays a crucial role in the odds of children getting diagnosed with diabetes and says carbohydrates have a negative impact.

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an auto-immune condition in which the immune system is activated to destroy the cells in the pancreas which produce insulin.

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a progressive condition in which the body becomes resistant to the normal effects of insulin.

T1D is one of the most common chronic childhood conditions and it has long been argued that T1D is not linked to modifiable lifestyle factors.

However, Noake says international research by Dr. Alessio Fasano suggests that T1D is an autoimmune disease in response to wheat in the diet.

There is a driver [behind diabetes]. It may well be dietary and it may well be wheat.

Prof Tim Noakes, Professor of Exercise And Sport at University of Cape Town

So it is an autoimmune disease. It may be due to something into the environment and it may be weaning children onto cereals.

Prof Tim Noakes, Professor of Exercise And Sport at University of Cape Town

As far as nutrition, the same principles apply for both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes.

Prof Tim Noakes, Professor of Exercise And Sport at University of Cape Town

Noakes argues that the diet of pregnant mothers and diet of young children can influence a child's susceptibility to both types of diabetes.

WATCH: Tim Noakes explains how diet affects children's odds of diabetes

Catherine Rice is the mother of a 11-year old girl with T1D and says many parents lack sufficient knowledge about the disease.

We still learn every single day. It's a complicated disease.

Catherine Rice, mother and court reporter

She described how having a child with diabetes has added challenging dimensions to parenting and family life.

She's developed a needle phobia that is very psychologically very difficult to deal with.

Catherine Rice, mother and court reporter

It's not just a disease about what you eat and how much insulin to take. It also impacts the family psychologically.

Catherine Rice, mother and court reporter

Alternatively, take a listen to the insightful discussion and advice on how to manage diabetes:


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