Sunday, July 18, 2010

Is Obesity the Main Risk Factor For Developing Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is often referred to as a lifestyle disease because it is largely due to obesity, lack of exercise and poor diet. It is true that 80 to 90 percent of Type 2 diabetics are overweight or obese. If they were not overweight, they probably would not have developed this condition.

Studies show that one out of five Type 2 diabetics is morbidly obese. A morbidly obese person is classified as being 100 lbs (45.45 kilos) or more overweight. Approximately 60 percent of U.S. adults with Type 2 diabetes are obese, and 20 percent are morbidly obese. The ratio of overweight Type 2 diabetics accounts for another 70 percent, making 90 percent of Type 2 diabetics classified as overweight or obese. (The remaining 10 percent of individuals are known as 'lean diabetics').

An overweight individual is defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 25. Obesity is defined as a BMI over 30. Morbid obesity is generally defined as a BMI over 40. Body Mass Index is a measurement of body fat in relation to an individual's height and weight, and can be accurately determined only by a health professional... online calculators are not always reliable as they don't take into account bone structure, muscle mass or other contributing factors.

Approximately two-thirds of adults with Type 2 diabetes are obese and about one-third of adults without diabetes are obese. Surveys show that the trend towards obesity has increased rapidly in recent years, as has the incidence of Type 2 diabetes, suggesting a correlation.

Diabetics who are morbidly obese are the fastest growing segment of obese people worldwide. Between surveys conducted in the late 70's and surveys conducted in 2005-2006 in the US, a 141 percent increase was observed in the rate of morbid obesity in adult Type 2 diabetics.

Obesity can present a host of other health risks including cardiovascular disease, end-stage kidney disease, sleep-disordered breathing (sleep apnea), arthritis and fatty liver disease. Many of these conditions are also high risk for Type 2 diabetics, meaning that an obese Type 2 diabetic is doubly at risk.

The main reasons cited for the dramatic increase in average weight for Type 2 diabetics include unrealistic portion sizes, the consumption of inexpensive, unhealthy foods, sugary drinks, and insufficient activity. Getting weight under control is often the first step towards a more normal lifestyle for Type 2 diabetics.

Changes in lifestyle are needed to control blood sugar levels and weight, and reduce strain on the kidneys, liver and other organs. Life expectancy can be increased dramatically and the quality of life improved through diet and exercise. In extreme cases, some morbidly obese Type 2 diabetics undergo gastric surgery.

Once weight and blood sugar are stabilized, overall health will improve and further weight loss will be easier.

Type 2 diabetics can and do lose weight using the proper approach; it just takes a strong commitment to health... lose weight, rebalance your insulin, feel better and many of your symptoms will go away.

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