Does body weight and diabetes go hand in hand?

A new study published online September 15 in the Journal of the American Medical Association concludes that the number of people (prevalence) in the U.S. with diabetes is mirroring the number of people who are overweight or obese.

The study published from the CDC estimates that 12% to 14% of US adults have diabetes. Another 38% of adults have prediabetes-a condition where blood glucose is above normal (fasting level 100 to 125 mg/dL). The increase in both diabetes and prediabetes is anticipated to be due to an increase in obesity-the most important risk factor for diabetes. As the attached table shows the number of people with diabetes over the years is lowest in normal weight individuals (BMI under 25), higher in overweight individuals (BMI 25-29), and highest in people suffering from obesity (BMI over 30).

What to do?

  • If you are overweight lose weight! Even a 5-10% weight loss lowers your risk for getting diabetes. Don’t hesitate to seek help from your healthcare professional. They can point you to a lifestyle modification program and prescribe weight loss medications if you need help sticking to the plan.
  • If you already have type 2 diabetes and are overweight talk to your clinician about losing 5-10% of your weight. You will see better blood glucose control and lower heart risk factors like cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure.