Did you know that type 2 diabetes and obesity are so intrinsically linked that there’s even a term coined for it?
Let’s talk diabesity.
In this article, we’ll help you to better understand the link between diabetes and obesity. Continue reading to learn how obesity is significant risk factor in developing type 2 diabetes and how weight loss can help to reduce the associated health risks.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a metabolic disease in which your blood sugar levels are too high. There are two types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2, with type 2 being the most common across the UK population and worldwide.
In type 1 diabetes, your pancreas no longer makes insulin and in type 2 diabetes either your body doesn’t make enough insulin or no longer responds well to insulin. Our bodies need insulin to move glucose out of your bloodstream and into your cells for energy and maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
While there’s no cure for type 2 diabetes, you can manage the condition by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, taking medications if needed, and monitoring your daily blood sugar levels with a blood glucose monitor.
What Is the Link Between Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity?
There are approximately 90% of people with diabetes in the UK with overweight or obesity. It’s no coincidence – and certainly comes as no surprise – that the two conditions are closely related.
Type 2 diabetes is caused by several factors, with lifestyle factors and genes being the biggest drivers. Specifically, being physically inactive and with overweight or obesity, which means having a Body Mass Index (BMI) above 30.
Losing weight and making healthy lifestyle choices can play an important role in reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes, as well as reducing your risk of heart disease.
Why Is Obesity a Risk Factor for Type 2 Diabetes?
Obesity is a complex disease in which a person has an abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health.
While there are many factors that can lead to obesity, the main causes include:
- Consuming a high-calorie diet with fatty and sugary foods
- Lack of exercise or living a sedentary lifestyle
- Genetics / family history
- Mental health conditions
- Certain medications
People that are with overweight or obesity are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes due to an increased level of fat which can lead to insulin resistance, whereby the cells in your muscles and liver no longer respond well to insulin.
With insulin resistance, your body has difficulty moving glucose into your cells, which makes your pancreas work harder to try to make more insulin. But overtime your body isn’t able to keep and will eventually cause your blood sugars to increase, leading to the development of type 2 diabetes.
As the relationship between diabetes and obesity – aka diabesity – is evident, losing weight and improving your lifestyle is key in preventing and managing type 2 diabetes.
How Losing Weight Can Help Type 2 Diabetes
Luckily, the main risk factor for developing diabetes is modifiable. By making healthier lifestyle choices, such as introducing more movement into your day and starting a weight loss journey, you can lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and a wide range of other cardiovascular and metabolic health conditions.
Read more on how your lifestyle choices can influence the risk of diabetes in this article:
Start Your Weight Loss Journey with OPTIFAST
If you are worried that you may have a high BMI and at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, speak to your GP to discuss how you can lose weight.