Many recent studies have shown a direct link between obesity and the diagnosis of type II diabetes, or non-insulin-dependent diabetes. Also known as adult onset diabetes, type II is increasingly being diagnosed in overweight children and adolescents. In this type of diabetes, the body produces insulin, but interference from the complications of obesity doesn’t allow the body to use it as it should.
The body of a type II diabetic, due to an overproduction of insulin, can no longer produce the correct amount to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and begins to develop a resistance to insulin. Ninety percent of diabetics are diagnosed with type II diabetes. Usually, this diagnosis comes after 40 years of age, but the condition is now increasingly found in children. Since 1968, weight gain in American children has doubled, and today, approximately 25% of American children are obese. This increase in weight has been directly linked to the rise in type II diabetes in both children and adults.
Studies have shown that an increase in abdominal fat is linked to glucose intolerance, as well as to overeating and general obesity. A body mass index (BMI) of over 40 has been linked to a higher chance of developing diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a healthy BMI ranges from 18.5 to 24.9. Obese individuals often have diets high in carbohydrates, starches and sugars, and low in protein and good fats. The way in which these foods are digested is related to how the body processes sugar.
Like obesity, type II is highly preventable. Even mild weight loss can lower one's risk of developing type II diabetes by as much as five to ten percent. The CDC recommends a well balanced, healthy diet, along with moderate exercise on a regular basis, as the first steps in preventing both issues. Reducing stress levels can also go a long way in preventing diabetes.
For those suffering from both conditions, just 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week can be very useful in starting the weight loss process. Studies have shown that with weight loss, one can reduce the amount of medication required to control the disease, and some can completely control the disease with diet and a healthy lifestyle.