Last Updated on January 8, 2020 by Dr. Philip Schein MD
According to a 2016 report by Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization, 800 million people in the world are starving, while in some countries around 70 percent of the population is overweight or obese. However, even in middle- and low-income countries, people can be overweight because they often eat in fast-food restaurants abounding in poor areas.
Obesity increases the risk of many cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancer. However, the most obvious role of being overweight is in the development of diabetes. In many ways, the prevalence of this metabolic disorder (which is fraught with very dangerous complications) is up to 9% among adults worldwide.
So, how are overweight and diabetes related and what prevention tips exist?
Link Between Diabetes and Obesity
The link between obesity and diabetes has been known for a long time. An ancient treatise of Indo-Tibetan medicine of the VIII century noted that diabetes was more common in overweight patients who ate unhealthy food and led an inactive lifestyle. However, the French doctor A. Bouchard was the first person who explained the close relationship between obesity and diabetes at the scientific medical level in the second half of the 19th century.
If you are overweight, the cells begin to develop increased insulin resistance while the pancreas can work properly. Increased insulin resistance leads to many metabolic disorders.
Obesity is known to provoke inflammation, which in turn leads to metabolic problems. But the mechanism of this process itself is a bit confusing.
In people with obesity, many cells die and collapse, and as a result, a lot of cellular DNA enters the bloodstream (this has been confirmed by studies). Moreover, DNA from dead cells is often found in immune cells called macrophages that move around adipose tissue. Then, the synthesis of TLR9 receptor (a special protein) is enhanced in the cells. This leads to the launch of inflammatory reactions, which are a powerful weapon against bacteria, but in this case they have a devastating effect and can cause diabetic symptoms. This is not the only mechanism, but the fact remains that being overweight is a huge factor in the development of diabetes. In addition, people with diabetes sometimes tend to have more chances of developing obesity.
Read our article: Life with Diabetes Can Be Fulfilling
How to Prevent? Useful Tips
Obesity is known to be the result of a positive energy balance. High-calorie diets rich in fat, simple sugar (e.g. cakes, muffins, donuts, chocolate, etc.) and low in fiber, reduced physical activity lead to an imbalance of energy and the deposition of excess triglycerides in adipose tissue. Moreover, the level of triglycerides in the blood rises, which negatively affects the state of blood vessels. To ensure sustainable weight loss, it is necessary to create a negative energy balance, and in general, to change the way of life.
Therefore, in order to prevent obesity and thus reduce the risk of diabetes (obesity is not the only reason but one of the key ones), you need to radically change the principles of nutrition.
The basis of your diet should be vegetables, fruit, whole grains and low-fat sources of protein (such as lean meat and fish). But you can suffer from excess weight, even eating properly. Therefore, to lose weight you need to create a negative energy balance. To achieve this goal, your body needs to spend more calories than it has received. Of course, you need to reduce the amount of food consumed and lead a mobile lifestyle. The best option is to go to the gym on a regular basis. It is not necessary to work with weights (sometimes it can be undesirable or harmful), but you can choose from hundreds of sports activities. If you cannot attend a gym or some kind of sports section, just walk a lot. Long walking is a great fat burning tool (just don’t take biscuits with you).
Pull yourself together, work out the right regimen and your body will thank you.
I’m an Oncologist and Hematology Specialist primary located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. I have over 55 years of experience in the medical field and more than 20 years of practice. I’m skilled at the treatment & diagnosis of a large array of ailments & diseases in adults.
- American Board of Internal Medicine Certification in Internal Medicine
- American Board of Hematology Certification in Hematology
- American Board of Medical Oncology Certification in Medical Oncology