Type 2 diabetes is a condition that causes very high levels of sugar in the blood. If you are close to developing diabetes, there are certain things you can do to prevent it.

What can I do to prevent type 2 diabetes?

The most important thing you can do to prevent diabetes is to keep a healthy BMI (body mass index) through a healthy diet and exercise. You can follow these tips:

Diet and nutrition

  • Eat a healthy diet with lots of vegetables, whole grains and fruits. If you cannot find fresh fruits and vegetables, you can eat them canned or frozen in water or 100% juice (not syrup). Canned or frozen fruits and vegetables are just as healthy and tasty as fresh ones.
  • Choose grilled, broiled or baked foods. These foods can help you feel fuller for longer. They can also help you keep a healthy weight.
  • Keep healthy snacks with you. This can include fruits, veggie sticks, a handful of dry-roasted or raw nuts and whole grain crackers with hummus or low-fat dip.
  • Drink water or low-fat milk more often than soda, sweetened drinks and fruit juice (including 100% fruit juice).


  • Get moving! Exercise, play a sport or play outside for at least 30 minutes (half an hour) 5-6 days a week. You can spread out the 30 minutes throughout the day if that works better for you.


  • Get enough sleep. Sleep helps you in many ways, including keeping a healthy weight and feeling rested for the next day.

Why is exercise important for me?

Exercise is important for your health now and in the future for many reasons:


  • Keeps you at a healthy weight and lowers body fat
  • Builds muscle
  • Helps you sleep better
  • Improves coordination and focus in sports
  • Helps you pay more attention in school
  • Helps boost your self confidence

For the future

  • Lowers risk for serious health concerns, like obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure
  • Builds strong bones
  • Helps develop lifelong healthy habits so you grow up as healthy, strong and confident as possible
  • Manages your weight as you grow up

Rev. 11/2017. Reviewed by the MGfC Family Advisory Council and Pediatric Endocrinology at MGfC. This webpage is intended to provide health information so that you can be better informed. It is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to treatment of any medical conditions.