The Diabetic and Obesity
The Diabetic and Obesity. The truth is that it has not been clinically proven without a doubt that obesity causes all types of diabetes. The reason that this association is made is that a vast majority of diabetics are overweight. At the same time, many overweight individuals develop diabetes.
Scientifically, even though this is a major coincidence, it is not a solid fact as there are obese people who have not contracted diabetes.
The reason for this connection is because people who are overweight are that way because they have made bad food choices. Instead of consuming a healthy mixture of the right fruits, vegetables, fiber and protein, they consume too much of the wrong things. They also eat in excess. When you do not have a sufficient level of activity to burn off these extra calories it turns to fat and complicates matters even more.
Researchers believe that fat causes the body to become insensitive to insulin due to the release of a specific protein. This means that it takes more insulin to maintain glucose levels for an overweight person throughout the day than a lean one. In reaction to this, the pancreas does the only thing that it can to compensate for this and that is to produce even more insulin.
Sometimes the body develops insulin resistance, a condition where it simply doesn’t respond to the effects of insulin. In this case, cells do not absorb insulin efficiently, which causes an increase in sugar levels. Again, this is often in response to excess weight.
However, we know that excess weight does contribute to type 2 diabetes. This becomes a bigger issue when genetics are thrown into the mix.
Obesity is also no longer a condition that just affects older people, although the likelihood does increase with age, and increasing numbers of young people have been diagnosed with obesity.
Links Between Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes
While the exact causes of diabetes are still not fully understood, it is known that factors up the risk of developing different types of diabetes mellitus.
For type 2 diabetes, this includes being overweight or obese (having a body mass index – BMI – of 30 or greater).
In fact, obesity is believed to account for 80-85% of the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, while recent research suggests that obese people are up to 80 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those with a BMI of less than 22.
How Does Obesity Cause Type 2 Diabetes?
The Diabetic and Obesity. It is a well-known fact that if you are overweight or obese, you are at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes, particularly if you have excess weight around your tummy (abdomen).
Studies suggest that abdominal fat causes fat cells to release ‘pro-inflammatory’ chemicals, which can make the body less sensitive to the insulin it produces by disrupting the function of insulin responsive cells and their ability to respond to insulin.
This is known as insulin resistance – the hallmark of type 2 diabetes.
Having excess abdominal fat (i.e. a large waistline) is known as central or abdominal obesity, a particularly high-risk form of obesity.
Disruption In Fat Metabolism
Obesity is also thought to trigger changes to the body’s metabolism These changes cause fat tissue (adipose tissue) to release fat molecules into the blood, which can affect insulin responsive cells and lead to reduced insulin sensitivity.
Another theory put forward by scientists into how obesity could lead to type 2 diabetes is that obesity causes prediabetes, a metabolic condition that almost always develops into type 2 diabetes.
The links between obesity and type 2 diabetes are firmly established – without the intervention of a healthy diet and appropriate exercise, obesity can lead to type 2 diabetes over a relatively short period of time.
The good news is that reducing your body weight, by even a small amount, can help improve your body’s insulin sensitivity and lower your risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and types of cancer.
According to the NHS, a 5% reduction in body weight followed up by regular moderate intensity exercise could reduce your type 2 diabetes risk by more than 50%.
For information on how to lose weight safely, how to stay motivated, and the benefits of shedding weight, see our guide on diabetes and weight loss.
Making Lifestyle Changes
Making healthy lifestyle changes can often prevent obesity, and in order to avoid a healthcare crisis the UK needs to spread information that highlights the importance of doing just that, especially amongst children.
The Diabetic and Obesity Obesity Facts
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), at least 2.8 million people dying each year as a result of being overweight or obese.
In 2008, over 40 million preschool children were overweight worldwide