In this animated video segment adapted from the Eagle Books series produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mr. Eagle describes to Rain That Dances and Thunder Cloud, two American Indian boys, how people used to be strong and healthy because they kept their bodies moving by working hard and playing outside every day. Mr. Eagle is sad because he no longer sees children playing and because they spend too much time sitting. He tells the boys how many people are now sick with diabetes and explains that there are ways to prevent the disease. Together, they discuss fun ways to move their bodies and become healthier.
Diabetes is a disease characterized by high blood glucose levels because the body is unable to properly process sugar into energy. There are three main forms of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Over the past few decades, the prevalence of diabetes has increased so much that it is now considered an epidemic. In 2008, nearly 19 million people in the United States had diagnosed diabetes, compared to only about 1.5 million people in 1958. Furthermore, type 2 diabetes, which is the most widespread form of diabetes and was once known as an adult disease, is becoming more and more common in children and adolescents, along with an increase in the rate of obesity. Why has type 2 diabetes become such a problem?
Changes in lifestyle are likely to blame. In particular, people have become more sedentary in their day-to-day lives. Think about how physically active you are throughout the day. How much time do you spend walking, running, or moving around? How much time do you spend sitting while doing work, using the computer, watching television, riding in the car, or engaged in other pastimes? Poor diets are also to blame, as people choose foods of convenience that tend to be high in calories and low in nutrition. Consuming more calories than your body needs for normal functioning and growth leads to excess body fat. And because fat affects how the body uses sugar, people who are overweight are more likely to have type 2 diabetes. From 1980 to 2008, the prevalence of childhood obesity more than tripled. Not surprisingly, the rising rate of obesity corresponds with the rising rate of diabetes.
The good news is that type 2 diabetes is highly preventable. An active lifestyle and healthful eating are the keys to preventing the disease. Because the modern American lifestyle typically involves so many sedentary activities, it is important to make an effort to include more physical activity in one’s daily life. Children and adults should try to move their bodies every day for at least 30 minutes. To help get started, a person can make small changes, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Another good way to incorporate more movement into daily life is to walk or bike rather than drive someplace nearby. There are also many fun and physically active hobbies that one could pursue, such as swimming, gymnastics, soccer, dance, and basketball. The more enjoyable the activities are, the more likely one is to stick with them. Finding friends to do them with can also make the activities more enjoyable. Smart food choices are important too, such as eating lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and cutting down on fried, fatty, and sugary foods.
Academic standards correlations on Teachers' Domain use the Achievement Standards Network (ASN) database of state and national standards, provided to NSDL projects courtesy of JES & Co.
We assign reference terms to each statement within a standards document and to each media resource, and correlations are based upon matches of these terms for a given grade band. If a particular standards document of interest to you is not displayed yet, it most likely has not yet been processed by ASN or by Teachers' Domain. We will be adding social studies and arts correlations over the coming year, and also will be increasing the specificity of alignment.