Family health curbs diabetes

Children who are overweight or obese run a greater risk of being diagnosed with diabetes.

But registered dietician Mindy Nichols said proper nutrition can help. And as a family, parents have the most influence in helping develop good eating and exercise habits for their children.

Nichols will host Eat, Play, Live Together Family Eating Education from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Feb. 19 at the Buckley Public Library meeting room, 123 S. River Ave. The free two-hour workshop on food, nutrition and exercise is sponsored by Nutrition Education Studio, Diabetes Association of Pierce County and the United Way of Pierce County.

“Family habits make a big difference,” Nichols said, and she encourages families to attend the free workshop. “Family change is important in the early years.”

According to the American Diabetes Association, about 2 million adolescents ages 12 to 19 have pre-diabetes.

Participants do not need to be diagnosed to attend.

Nichols said the workshop is designed to engage families to develop better eating habits and provide them with an opportunity to learn family health from a nutrition scientist.

“We’re just trying to give out good, quality information on eating habits to those who might not have a place to get it,” she said.

Nichols said workshops in Puyallup and Sumner were well received.

Healthy families, she said, equals healthy kids.

The program is focused on middle school-aged children and their families.

Under the “Eat” heading, families will learn to read food labels, balance diets and portion size, choose healthy snacks and learn to make better selections at the grocery store.

Families will also pick up tips on “Play.” The workshop will offer suggestions on family activities to stay active.

Maintaining healthy weight and keeping the heart young will fall under the final category, “Live Together.”

Reservations are requested, to sign up contact the Nutrition Education Studio at 253-394-4383 or go to

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