What causes diabetes? There are many factors that come into play with type 2 diabetes. A condition called insulin resistance is associated with diabetes, and being overweight is known to increase the body's resistance to insulin. Obesity and type 2 diabetes have a significant link.
Insulin is a hormone that allows glucose to enter our body's cells, where it is used for energy. As we get fatter, our bodies become resistant to insulin and stop responding to it properly. More and more insulin will be required to have the same effect and eventually the body isn't able to produce enough. Being obese makes our bodies less sensitive to insulin. When our bodies don't produce enough insulin or don't respond properly to it, diabetes is the result.
At what weight are you considered obese? The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a formula to determine whether your weight is normal, overweight, or obese:
Here's a link to a handy BMI Calculator.
A small weight loss of 5% to 10% can lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In a 200 pound person, that would be a weight loss of 10 to 20 pounds. A healthy lifestyle that includes a nutritious diet and regular exercise can help to prevent additional weight gain, as well as decrease the need for medication. Once you are able to maintain your weight, aim to lose small, sustainable amounts of weight.
As obesity numbers grow, so too do the number of people diagnosed with diabetes. Obesity and type 2 diabetes are undoubtedly linked. So too are obesity and many other health issues such as joint problems and breathing problems. Working towards a healthier weight can help to delay or even prevent type 2 diabetes.