Obesity Can Cause Type 2 Diabetes
They are mentioned together all the time, but obesity and type 2 diabetes are not the same health issue. Over thirty percent of those suffering from obesity with never develop diabetes, and people with type 2 diabetes are still normal weight. There is a term often used to describe the correlation between the two conditions: “diabesity”. Being overweight always raises the chance of developing other health problems- sleep apnea, cancer, arthritis, heart disease and yes, type 2 diabetes.
Over the last few decades here in the United States and other developed nations obesity has become far more common, frighteningly so. Statistics now show that over one third are clinically overweight, and another third considered obese, this means over sixty five percent have reason to be concerned. It is incredibly difficult to maintain healthy body weight for so many people it is an epidemic. The availability and marketing of processed food, super-sized portions, and the lack of activity in the modern lifestyle all play a role. There are a few basic guideline to follow if improving this situation is of interest to you or a loved one.
Growing, Growing, Help!
Obesity is considered to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors for most people. The fact that you might be obese is 9 times more likely if your parents were obese. The argument of genetics seems valid as there are many who genetically burn more or less calories in their daily activities. Some are overly efficient at storing fat, others are great at burning it. These properties are a holdover from ancient days when scarcity of food was a reality.
Food scarcity is no longer an issue for the most part, well, calorie scarcity at least. Food is another topic, as the calories we are consuming as a society don’t resemble food in the nutritional sense. It seems the lack of activity, easy to grab processed products, all add up to making us fat. Truth be told, researchers haven’t really figured out the causes of the epidemic with any scientific certainty.
There have been so many societal and environmental changes that have obviously played a role. There are some simple facts that cannot be ignored- number one is you cannot gain weight consistently without consuming more calories than you burn. So many factors in our modern workplace reduce the use of caloric energy, and the low cost of low quality food products alone might be the driving force.
There are some interesting societal factors- ex-smokers, low income, psychological disabilities and disorders. Add in the fact that these populations are mostly inactive, is would seem obvious they would be gaining more weight.
What is a Healthy Weight?
There are four primary categories regarding body weight- obese, overweight, healthy and underweight. The way this is determined is using the BMI (Body Mass Index) scale. The BMI is based upon height and weight and determines approximately how much body fat a person has. There are a few excellent tests to measure body fat, but most physicians use the Body Mass Index.
People with a BMI below 18.5 are determined to be underweight, healthy is 18.5 to 24.9, 25 to 29.9 makes a person overweight, and anything above 30 is considered obese. There are plenty of tools to measure your BMI, we include one here on this site.
BMI is a great way to estimate health related to weight, but it is not perfect. Sometimes differences in the composition of the body can alter the results. If you happen to have more muscle and low body fat, it may be inaccurate. Also, certain heritage, race and ethnicity is a factor, some get disease symptoms even though the BMI shows normal. Sometimes getting more precise with waist circumference and hip to waist ration is in order.
In simple terms as mentioned earlier, burning more calories than we consume is the objective. Be more active and eat less. The reality is that this is a very difficult task considering the food supply. Possibly the most important factor is training yourself to eat better forms of food, and then refine and dial in a system that works for you.
Lifestyle is the key, I know you’ve heard this all before, and the suggestions are pretty ridiculous. It seems if you exercise you get hungry, if you eat, you go beyond the levels that allow loss of weight without risks associated with reducing calories too rapidly. After a few days or even weeks of denying yourself food, you overeat, get disappointed with your progress and shelf the whole idea for awhile. A wicked circle.
Medical practice goes through the following cycle. Your doctor might suggest other options including weight-loss drugs or bariatric surgery. The drug Orlistat is the only drug approved for long term use, but it has it’s fair share of side effects and negative results. The surgery card is often dropped as well. The most popular types are these two- gastric banding and gastric bypass surgery. Gastric bypass surgery rebuilds the digestive tract and produces results initially, but can lead to serious issues down the road.
There are no simple answers, but there are some hopeful insights that I discussing on this site regularly. In short, it may require a complete reset in your mind of what food are healthy and which are not. I will leave you with a hint: eliminate sugar and grains in general. Don’t fear good forms of fat and protein. Drop me a line with any questions I would be happy to steer you to some great resources.