More than 70% of Americans are overweight or obese, and a staggering 100 million adults
are now living with diabetes. Both conditions increase the risk of heart disease, the number one cause of death in the United States. Understanding the connection between obesity and diabetes can help you protect your health and lower your risks for serious health problems down the line.
Obesity a risk factor for diabetes
Body mass index is a tool used to estimate body fat based on height and weight. A normal BMI ranges between 18.5 and 24.9. People with a BMI between 25 and 29.9 are classified as overweight, and you’re considered obese if you have a BMI of 30 or above.
We find that health risk factors rise substantially when BMI reaches 30 or higher. Obesity is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes, a condition where blood sugar remains elevated. The majority of people who have diabetes are carrying excess weight. In fact, over 90% of adults with diabetes are overweight or obese.
How obesity increases the risk of diabetes
Obesity increases the risk for various chronic diseases. To understand how carrying excess weight raises the risk of obesity, it’s important to know that fat is more than an inactive energy storage substance. Advances in research have shed light on the role of excess body fat in disease.
Instead of being a dormant substance, research shows that body fat is active. In fact, it can be as active as other organs in your body. Fat can communicate with other cells and produce hormones. Body fat can cause changes in hormones and the way your body uses energy that boosts the chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
Obesity causes insulin resistance
Obesity reduces the body’s sensitivity to insulin, a crucial blood sugar-regulating hormone. This is known as insulin resistance. When the cells become resistant to insulin, blood sugar rises. This sets the stage for the development of type 2 diabetes.
Other factors involve an increase in inflammatory chemicals that disrupt your body’s ability to efficiently regulate blood sugar.
Making the right diet and lifestyle changes can have a powerful impact on lowering your risks of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes. At Carley Family Care, our providers help patients make changes that improve their health and lives. Raising awareness about the connection between obesity and type 2 diabetes can empower patients to adopt healthier lifestyle habits that promote health and lower the risk of disease.
Weight loss reduces diabetes risk
If you’re overweight or obese, bringing your weight within a healthy range is one of the most effective ways to lower the chances of developing type 2 diabetes. What’s more, you may be surprised to know that losing even a modest amount of weight significantly slashes the chance that you’ll develop type 2 diabetes.
Aiming to lose 10% of your total bodyweight can drastically cut your diabetes risk. For people who weigh 220 pounds, that’s just 22 pounds. Losing more weight has additional benefits and protects your health even more.
Adopting a healthier lifestyle is key
Exercise and diet are the cornerstone of lowering chronic disease risk. When it comes to diabetes, getting enough physical activity improves your body’s sensitivity to insulin. When your muscles move, your body adapts to handle energy management more effectively. Burning energy through exercise lowers blood sugar and helps to keep it within a healthy range.
Making healthier dietary choices is equally important. You don’t have to feel deprived or give up the foods you love. To sustain a healthy diet, it’s necessary to find healthier versions as alternatives to your favorite foods. It’s best to avoid making drastic changes.
You’re less likely to stick to a radical dietary change. Small changes can make a big difference and you don’t have to give up taste. Before you know it, your hard work will pay off and the changes you’ve made will improve your health.
There’s no need to wait to take action toward protecting against chronic disease. Ignoring obesity raises the chances that you’ll develop high blood pressure, sleep apnea and even certain cancers.
Scheduling a checkup is a good place to start. Contact our Kings Mountain, North Carolina, office to schedule a visit. For added convenience, us our online scheduling tool to send your request.