Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes has a stronger link to family history and lineage than type 1, and studies of twins have shown that genetics play a very strong role in the development of type 2 diabetes. Race can also play a role.
Yet it also depends on environmental factors. Lifestyle also influences the development of type 2 diabetes. Obesity tends to run in families, and families often have similar eating and exercise habits.
If you have a family history of type 2 diabetes, it may be difficult to figure out whether your diabetes is due to lifestyle factors or genetics. Most likely it is due to both. However, don’t lose heart! Studies show that it is possible to delay or prevent type 2 diabetes by exercising and losing weight.
Your child’s risk
Type 2 diabetes runs in families. In part, this is due to children learning bad habits—eating a poor diet, not exercising—from their parents. But there is also a genetic basis. The good news is, like in adults, it is possible to delay or prevent type 2 diabetes in youth by encouraging healthy food choices, exercise and weight loss.