More than two in three adults in the U.S. are considered to be overweight or obese, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. This week, Dr. Tedd L. Mitchell tells us how losing body fat can reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
It's pretty common knowledge that Type 2 diabetes and being overweight or obese often go hand in hand. However, researchers have also found a link between a person's body fat percentage and his or her risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.
Body mass index (BMI) is an estimate of a person's body fat levels, based on height and weight. An adult who has a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight. An adult who has a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese.
Although excess weight may trigger changes in the body's metabolism and possible insulin resistance, not everyone who has Type 2 diabetes is overweight or obese, and not everyone who is overweight or obese will develop Type 2 diabetes, according to a recent study published in the journal of PLoS Medicine.
In addition to genetic factors, the type of fat in a person's body matters, too. For example, people who have less brown fat (considered a good type of fat) and carry more weight around the middle are generally more likely to get Type 2 diabetes.
If you're overweight or obese, start making small changes in your diet. Even a small amount of weight loss (10 percent of your body weight) will significantly reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease.