According to the National Institute of Health, about 80% of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. Undoubtedly, obesity is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes because the increase in body fat makes it difficult for the body to use insulin properly. Does this mean that diabetes is just a disease of the obese? Unfortunately, being skinny is not always a protection against diabetes. Many who do not fit the typical physical description of an overweight and elderly diabetic can get diabetes. Although increasing body weight is a risk factor for diabetes, it is not the only risk factor. Thin people may be at risk for type 2 diabetes for other reasons that are not directly related to body weight. However, this risk is low, especially compared to obese people. It's in the genes In addition to the commonly known risk factors for diabetes, such as excess weight and old age, there are two important risk factors for diabetes that are often overlooked: genes and family history. Some people are born more likely to have diabetes, regardless of their weight. In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association, type 2 diabetes has a stronger link to family history than type 1 diabetes, especially in twins. If a twin has type 2, the risk of the other twin is up to 75%. A research study published in PloS Genetics found that most uncomplicated cases are people with a strong genetic predisposition for type 2 diabetes. Even a family history of heart disease can increase a person's risk of diabetes.
Lifestyle It is important to keep in mind that in the field of health and nutrition, the word "skinny" does not always mean "healthy". Even a relatively skinny person may have a poor diet and low levels of activity. Unhealthy lifestyle choices can increase the risk of diabetes. Low physical activity promotes insulin resistance. Along with a poor diet, a sedentary lifestyle can lead to an increase in body fat, especially a dangerous type of body fat called visceral fat. This type of fat is not the fat that is under the skin. This is the fat that surrounds the internal organs, especially around the waist area. These poor lifestyle choices increase the risk of hypertension, high cholesterol and high levels of triglycerides in the blood. All these health problems can also encourage the development of type 2 diabetes. Smoking can also increase your risk of type 2 diabetes, regardless of your body weight. According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, a heavy smoker (16-25 cigarettes / day) has a risk of type 2 diabetes three times higher than that of a non-smoker. Specific populations Research has shown that certain population groups are more susceptible to diabetes than others. For example, thin cases of diabetes are more common in the elderly or in certain non-Caucasian ethnicities. These include African-Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics / Latinos, Asians, and Pacific Islanders. Since these ethnic backgrounds are more vulnerable to diabetes, body weight may not make a big difference in the risk of diabetes. During pregnancy, women can develop a temporary type of diabetes called gestational diabetes. If this happens, your chances of developing type 2 diabetes are higher during the next decade, regardless of your weight. If a woman gave birth to at least one baby weighing more than 9 pounds, she has a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, regardless of her weight or family history. Understand diabetes to prevent or delay it. There are overweight people without diabetes and thin people with diabetes. However, the diabetes epidemic (nationally and globally) falls mainly, but not exclusively, in obese individuals. According to a 2014 study published in Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes for people who are overweight is 1.5-5 times higher than people of normal weight.
Many of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes in thin people are beyond their control, such as family history or genes. Weight, on the other hand, is a factor that can be controlled. If you are at risk of having type 2 diabetes, weight loss is an important measure to take to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. The facts show that people can develop type 2 diabetes at any age or weight, even during childhood or in a thin person. However, this type of diabetes develops more frequently in middle-aged and older people. Regardless of the risk factors you may or may not have, it is important to recognize the warning signs of diabetes and make decisions about a healthy lifestyle that can help prevent it.
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