The Major Link Between Obesity and Diabetes
Diabetes is a group of disorders that are effective characterized by having high blood glucose levels. Heightened levels are due to the body’s lack of ability to produce enough (or any) insulin, which is the hormone that regulates glucose and assists the body in converting it to energy.
There are two different kinds of diabetes; type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes typically occurs in either children or adolescents, and it is caused by the body’s inability to properly produce insulin. Then there is type 2 diabetes which occurs primarily as a result of the body’s inability to be able to properly react to insulin, commonly referred to as insulin resistance. Type 2 diabetes is much more prevalent than type 1, and type 2 diabetes was historically almost always diagnosed after the age of 40. Now, however, it is now being found in pretty much all age ranges including adolescents and children.
Obesity and Diabetes:
How Does Your Weight Relate?
There are many different risk factors that go into determining whether or not you get type 2 diabetes including your race, age, pregnancy status, stress, genetics, and even certain medications. However, one of the most critical risk factors is obesity or being overweight. Over 90% of the people that are currently living with type 2 diabetes are classified as being overweight or obese. This is primarily due to the fact that people that are overweight put much more pressure on their body to utilize insulin in order to effectively control blood sugar levels. They are much more likely to develop diabetes as a result. Because the number of obesity cases continue to increase, and our diets have been getting worse as years go by, type 2 diabetes is becoming a huge epidemic.
Can You Prevent It?
In many cases, type 2 diabetes is preventable. In fact, studies have shown that even the smallest lifestyle changes and a small amount of weight loss (5-10% of body fat) can actually delay or prevent the onset of diabetes in a high risk adult. The smallest changes to your daily routine, including walking 30 minutes per day or adding 150 minutes of exercise per week, can have huge impacts on reducing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Reducing sugar and processed foods, and instead, replacing them with whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean meats also has a significant, positive impact. Working towards losing weight is one of the best things that you can do to prevent yourself from becoming another diabetes statistic. According to studies by NHS, a small 5% reduction in overall body weight followed by a regular exercise routine can actually reduce your overall risk by more than 50%.
As you can see, the link between obesity and diabetes is very real. If you are classified as obese or you are simply overweight, you are at higher risk to develop type 2 diabetes. Because it is a largely preventable disease, take proactive steps/measures to avoid it at all costs. Simply change your lifestyle and diet and you should be able to effectively do so.
About the Author
Louis Venter is the creator of diabetescoop.com, a website devoted to providing support and on-topic, frequently updated information for diabetics and those in their support network.