Health & Medical Diabetes

Why Is Being Overweight a Risk Factor for Diabetes?

    Obesity-Diabetes Link

    • Multiple studies have shown that being obese or overweight prevents the body's insulin from properly controlling blood sugar, potentially leading to type 2 diabetes.

    New Research

    • A 2009 study conducted by Monash University found that fat cells release pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF), a protein that can eventually lead to the development of diabetes. PEDF reduces the sensitivity of insulin in the muscle and liver, resulting in the pancreas counteracting by producing more insulin. Overtime, the pancreas becomes overworked and slows down or stops the release of insulin.

    Statistics

    • According to the CDC, between 1999 and 2002, approximately 60 percent of Americans newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes were obese or overweight. This was up from approximately 48 percent between 1988 and 1994.

    Weight Loss

    • Research has shown that weight loss prevents the development of type 2 diabetes, and improves the condition of patients who already have type 2 diabetes.

    Other Factors

    • Other factors that can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes include inactivity, a family history of diabetes, being African-American, Hispanic, Native American or Asian-American, being over the age of 45, having gestational diabetes during pregnancy or having polycystic ovary syndrome.

    Other Health Concerns

    • Being overweight or obese also increases the risk of developing other health conditions, such as heart disease, hypertension, certain cancers, stroke, arthritis and more.

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