Obesity and type 2 diabetes share a close association. Research highlights that obesity is a common risk factor that can lead to the development of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Maintaining a moderate weight and making certain lifestyle adjustments can help slow or prevent diabetes.
Obesity is a condition that occurs when a person has excess body fat that may affect their health. A health expert might diagnose a person with obesity if they have a sufficiently high body mass index (BMI).
Diabetes describes a group of conditions that affect how the body processes blood sugar. Type 2 diabetes, the
Insulin resistance is a common feature of these conditions. It occurs when cells no longer respond to signals from insulin. This causes the pancreas to work harder to produce sufficient insulin to maintain blood sugar levels. Over time, the pancreas loses its ability to release insulin, which can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes.
In this article, we discuss the relationship between obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Obesity is a
Some evidence indicates that an individual with obesity is approximately 10 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than someone with a moderate body weight. Research also indicates that the prevalence of obesity-related diabetes in the U.S. may rise to
Excess body fat, particularly around the abdomen, appears to be a
Although experts do not yet fully understand the complete mechanism, obesity-linked inflammation
However, over time, the pancreas is unable to keep up, and this results in high blood sugar levels. High levels of sugar in the bloodstream can be very damaging and cause various complications. To try to lower blood sugar levels, the liver sends excess blood sugars to fat cells, which
Some other risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes
- having prediabetes
- being aged 45 years or older
- having a close relative, such as a parent or sibling, with type 2 diabetes
- having gestational diabetes or giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
- being African American, Hispanic, Latino, American Indian, Pacific Islander, Asian American, or Alaska Native
Type 2 diabetes also has other modifiable risk factors. These
- a lack of regular physical activity
- high blood pressure
- low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels and high low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels
- not eating a healthy and varied diet
- heavy alcohol consumption
- high stress levels
- insufficient sleep
The American Diabetes Association notes that maintaining a moderate weight may help a person prevent or manage diabetes. For many people, this may simply involve finding the right combination of exercise, healthy foods, and portion control.
Taking part in physical activity plays an
However, a good goal to aim for is
It is vital to eat a variety of nutritious foods from all food groups, in suitable amounts. These food groups
- vegetables, including:
- nonstarchy vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, and tomatoes
- starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, corn, and green peas
- fruits, including oranges, apples, bananas, melon, berries, and grapes
- grains, such as bread, pasta, and cereals that preferably include wheat, rice, and oats
- protein, such as chicken, fish, and meat substitutes
- dairy, such as nonfat or low fat milk, yogurt, and cheese
A person can also use tools such as the
Learn more about which foods to limit or include with diabetes.
There is a strong link between obesity and diabetes. Having excess body fat is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, and it can negatively affect a person’s health in other ways.
To help manage and potentially prevent diabetes, it is advisable for a person to maintain a moderate weight. Strategies to achieve this include getting regular exercise, consuming a varied eating plan, and controlling portion sizes.