How Obesity causes Diabetes

How obesity causes diabetes

What is Obesity?

Obesity is the accumulation of fat in the body to the extent that it causes a health problems. One can determine if he/she is obese by checking the Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is checked by dividing your weight all over your height squared. That is Kg/metre square.

When your BMI is between 25-29.9 you are said to be Overweight but if your BMI is 30 then you’re Obese.

Whichever way it is whether overweight or obese, it is a risk factor to Diabetes especially type 2 diabetes melitus.

Excess weight can be gain through:

Consumption of excess calorie and burning a little.

Leading a sedentary lifestyle

Consumption of excess alcohol

Excessive smoking

Genetic predisposition

Endocrine abnormalities

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a medical metabolic condition in which there is chronic elevation of blood sugar(hyperglycemia) as a result of lack of insulin or insensitivity of insulin that breaks down body glucose.

There are two types of diabetes. The type 1 diabetes melitus and type 2 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes mellitus occurs more in children and adolescent while type 2 diabetes occurs more in adult. However, type 2 diabetes can now be seen across all age group. This may be due to change in life style. Type 2 diabetes melitus is usually diagnosed from 40 years and above.

 

How Obesity causes Diabetes

While the exact causes of diabetes are still not fully understood, it is known that  factors up the risk of developing different types of diabetes mellitus.

For type 2 diabetes, this includes being overweight or obese (having a body mass index – BMI – of 30 or greater).

In fact, obesity is believed to account for 80-85% of the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, while recent research suggests that obese people are up to 80 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those with a BMI less than 25.

There is also a Studies which suggest  that abdominal fat causes fat cells to releases ‘pro-inflammatory’ chemicals, which can make the body less sensitive to the insulin it produces by disrupting the function of insulin responsive cells and their ability to respond to insulin.

This is known as insulin resistance – a major trigger for type 2 diabetes. Having excess abdominal fat (i.e. a large waistline) is known as central or abdominal obesity, a particularly high-risk form of obesity.

Obesity is also thought to trigger changes to the body’s metabolism. These changes cause fat tissue (adipose tissue) to release fat molecules into the blood, which can affect insulin responsive cells and lead to reduced insulin sensitivity.

Another theory put forward by scientists into how obesity could lead to type 2 diabetes is that obesity causes prediabetic conditions- a metabolic condition that almost always develops into type 2 diabetes.

How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

The links between obesity and type 2 diabetes are firmly established – without the intervention of a proper healthy diet and appropriate exercise, obesity can lead to type 2 diabetes over a relatively short period of time.

The good news is that reducing your body weight, by even a small amount, can help improve your body sensitivity to insulin and lower your risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and types of cancer.

According to the NHS, a 5% reduction in body weight followed up by regular moderate intensity exercise could reduce your type 2 diabetes risk by more than 50%.

Prevention is always better than curing a disease condition. If you are overweight or tending towards obesity don’t wait till you develop Diabetes before you can do something about it. Act now, take action today and live a healthy life.

If you are diabetic already there is still hope for you. All you need is a healthy diet that can help reduce your body mass index and allow your body to respond to insulin action.

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