How Obesity Can Lead to Diabetes and Ways to Prevent It
Diabetes continues to rise in the U.S. according to a recent Gallop Survey. This survey states that 26 million American have diabetes and many millions likely have diabetes but just don’t know it. This is 11.3% of the U.S. population and based on past calculation this number could rise to 37 million by 2015. These are just staggering numbers but if we look at the rise in obesity we may find some correlation.
The same study shows the obesity rate rise 1% every quarter. People that fall in the obese category are three times more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than those below the obese level. Here are some statistics that are several years old but still are shocking.
• 58 Million Overweight; 40 Million Obese; 3 Million morbidly Obese
• Eight out of 10 over 25's Overweight
• 78% of American's not meeting basic activity level recommendations
• 25% completely Sedentary
• 76% increase in Type II diabetes in adults 30-40 yrs old since 1990
Source: Wellness International Network Ltd – http://web.winltd.com
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website has more up to date numbers. In one of their reports we may be able to see just why we are seeing such an increase. The chart below shows the increase in childhood obesity.
Data from NHANES I (1971–1974) to NHANES 2003–2006 show increases in overweight among all age groups:
• Among preschool-aged children, aged 2–5 years, the prevalence of overweight increased from 5.0% to 12.4%.8, 46
• Among school-aged children, aged 6–11 years, the prevalence of overweight increased from 4.0% to 17.0%.8, 46
• Among school-aged adolescents, aged 12–19 years, the prevalence of overweight increased from 6.1% to 17.6%.8, 46
So as we look at these statistics we see a dramatic increase in all ages and this habit that is formed in childhood is very difficult to break in the adult years.
So how does the increase in obesity correlate with the increase in diabetes? With a 10.4% increase over last two years, diabetes increases run very comparable to the obesity increases. Type 2 diabetes, which is linked to obesity and physical inactivity, accounts for 90%–95% of diabetes cases. So it is very evident that our weigh plays a significant role in the onset of diabetes.
An article on WebMD states:
"The upward trends in obesity rates almost certainly play a substantive role in the increase in diabetes rates over the same time period," the survey states. "More than one-fifth of obese adults [have diabetes]" -- or 21.2%, compared to 7.4% of non-obese people of comparable ages.
So is adding diabetic medications the best treatment for diabetes? If we have determined the root of the problem to be inactivity and obesity, then wouldn’t it make sense to treat the root of the problem rather than mask the problem with medications?
Well another article on WebMD called Diet Beats Drugs for Diabetes Prevention shows that treating the root of the problem may be a better treatment. This article talks about an ongoing study with 3,000 high-risk patients. One third of the patients in the study were asked to eat a low fat diet and engage in at least 30 minute of exercise 5 times a week. Another third was put on the diabetic drug called metformin and the final third had no changes.
To quote directly from the article, this sums it up. “Three years into the trial, Knowler and colleagues reported that diabetes incidence was reduced by a whopping 58% in the lifestyle intervention group and 31% in the metformin group, compared to people who received no intervention.” The article also states: "Weight loss is still the most important thing we have to recommend to overweight people at risk for type 2 diabetes," William C. Knowler, MD, of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).
Medications may be needed to get your diabetes under control but as you loss the weight and start eating right it may be possible to get off. Medications have a place but they should not be used as an easy out. All medications have some sort of side effects and a healthier plan may be better for you in the long run.
As we look at these statistics it is easy to wonder why people just don’t loose the weight and be fit. If we use the numbers previously stated, just dropping some weight and exercising each day we could lower the number of people with diabetes in half or 13 million. Such an easy task makes sense but it must not be that easy. Our busy lifestyle of today make it difficult to find the time to exercise, to find the time to prepare healthy meals and find the time to teach our children to do the same. Adding proper nutrient products can help with our diet and help avoid further complication from diabetes but the exercise has to fit in your day some way.
I am a diabetic and I have found success with diet, exercise and proper nutrients. I encourage everyone to take a harder look at their lifestyle and see if they are headed towards diabetes or if they have already arrived.