Obesity and Diabetes

Obesity word cloud concept

More than 26 million Americans have Type 2 diabetes, and millions more are at-risk of developing it. Diabetes has become an epidemic that is affecting the lives of children, teenagers and adults everywhere, but it is preventable. Obesity is one of the major contributing factors of diabetes as it is a cause of insulin resistance. Reducing your likelihood of obesity and weight gain can be difficult, but by committing to regular exercise, a healthy eating plan and being consistent, you can improve your health and life. Find out how obesity increases your chances of diabetes and how to avoid it with these tips!


Facts About Obesity

It is well known that obesity has become an epidemic not only in the United States, but throughout the world. In 2016 alone, 39.8% of adults were obese in the United States, which is about 93.3 million people. Not only is this number large, but the effects that obesity is having on people around the country is not only costly but dangerous. If you’re obese, you’re at a higher risk of developing stroke, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. While obesity can be caused by genetic factors, poor eating and diet habits are two of the major contributors to obesity, and consequently, the diseases that accompany it. Not only does obesity cause other harmful medical conditions, but it can make working, sleeping, breathing and moving much more difficult. The cost for addressing the needs of obese people are extreme, with the estimated annual cost of obesity reaching $147 billion dollars back in 2008; it’s gotten much worse since then. For the purpose of this article, we will focus on the impact that obesity has on the development of diabetes in patients around the country, and what can be done to curb its effects. By understanding how these two conditions influence each other, you will be better prepared to take care of your body and take the necessary precautions to maintain optimal health and wellness.


Impact of Diabetes on Global HealthMan holding a bottle of insulin with a syringe in his other hand.

While we understand the impact that obesity has on health, diabetes is just as significant of a topic to discuss. For starters, both obesity and diabetes have risen at nearly the same rate since 2000, leading to the term “diabesity” to describe the new epidemic that has been rapidly developing. Diabetes is characterized by high levels of blood glucose that is caused by insulin resistance and defects in insulin production. There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes develops as the body’s immune system destroys pancreatic beta cells, which are in charge of regulating blood glucose by releasing insulin. This typically develops in young children and young adults, but can develop at any age. Type 2 diabetes is the most prevalent form of diabetes, and it develops whenever the body becomes insulin resistant, preventing the cells from using insulin properly. Type 2 diabetes occurs as body weight increases, in those who were born with a low birth weight and due to genetics. People who are obese are 3 to 7 times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those who maintain a healthy weight.


How Obesity and Diabetes Go Hand-In-Hand

Not all obese patients will develop diabetes, but of the 26 million people in the U.S. who have diabetes, 95% of them having Type 2 diabetes. Of the 95% who have Type 2 diabetes, over 90% of them are overweight or obese. These numbers are staggering, and they portray just how closely correlated obesity and diabetes are. It’s true, not every obese person will develop diabetes, but most of them will develop insulin resistance, which is a precursor to diabetes. While millions have been diagnosed with diabetes, there are even more people at risk for developing it and they don’t even know it. Patients who are both obese and diabetic have a higher chance of developing depression, sleep apnea, cardiovascular disease, kidney stones, fatigue and cancer, including pancreatic, breast and colon.


It is unknown why some people develop insulin resistance while others do not, but it is definite that obesity and an inactive lifestyle contributes to it. Insulin resistance is very important to address because it is the stepping stone to diabetes, but is more manageable. Patients with apple-shaped bodies, who carry their weight around their abdomen, are at a higher likelihood of developing diabetes than people with pear-shaped bodies, whose weight lie on their hips and thighs. Therefore, if you carry your weight in the middle more so than you do on your lower body, you’re at a higher risk of diabetes.


What You Can Do To Take Care of Your Health

If you’re obese, diabetic or suffer from both conditions, there are treatment options available to you to improve your health. While diabetes can’t be reversed, it can be treated with medication, dietary changes, and exercise regimens to keep your body active and control the amount of sugar that you consume. Obesity is treated in similar ways with weight loss programs that encourage exercise and healthier food choices to control insulin levels, which promote weight gain. For extreme cases, bariatric surgery may be recommended to remove excess fat from the body, especially when one’s weight is affecting the ability to breathe and function. To be approved for bariatric surgery, however, you must have a BMI over 40 or suffer from a high BMI and medical conditions, like diabetes or heart disease. Each choice you make will affect your health for years to come, so it’s important that you take the necessary precautions now to avoid the hardships that obesity and diabetes can cause in the future.


Change Your Life With Our Help!

At Balanced Well-Being Healthcare, we are experienced in helping patients monitor their weight, treat diabetes and create personalized health plans to get their health back on track. If you’re ready to change your life for the better, call our office today at (970) 631-8286! Call today and take your life back!