Womens Health

What's A Few Pounds?

Weight Affects Diabetes

According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 65 percent of American adults are either overweight or obese, mostly due to overeating and lack of exercise.  The rate of obesity has been on the rise over the past several years and at the same time, there has been a rise in Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease and other diseases related to fat and a sedentary life style.  The ADA estimates about 21 million people have diabetes, with 54 million others in the wings with pre-diabetes - a condition wherein the fasting blood glucose levels are elevated, but haven't yet reached the level of Type 2 diabetes.

Younger Adults Are More Affected

New research has uncovered yet another key to understanding Type 2 diabetes.  The research indicated that the weight a person gains before the age of 40 raises the level of risk of developing diabetes, particularly for women.   Studies have indicated that there is an increased risk of developing diabetes with every increase in BMI (body mass index) in adults between the ages of 25 to 40 years as opposed to those in the 40 to 55 years age bracket.   Severe weight gain during the years between 25 and 40 increased the risk for diabetes in men by one and a half times, while women in the same age group experienced a risk increase of nearly four times over those who maintained a stable weight in early adulthood.  Diagnosis of diabetes was five years earlier in men and three years earlier in women who gained large amounts of weight.

The researchers came to the conclusion that the risk for early onset Type 2 diabetes increased significantly with weight gain in early adulthood.

Life Style Factors in Weight Gain

There are many factors that contribute to gaining weight in the years between 25 and 40.  The often intense changes in life style can have a profound effect on a person's weight.  This is usually the time for long-term relationships, career commitments or having a family.  The things of the former life fade away as eating and exercise habits are reformulated or abandoned to other things.  Consequently, the pounds start to pile on and with a shrug of the shoulders life carries on without really recognizing the health dangers.  A few pounds can set a person up for disease - or that same person can rediscover a healthy diet and exercise plan to fit into life as they're living it now.

It's Not Too Late To Get Control

The ADA has this encouragement:  Reducing your body weight by 5-7% (10-15 lbs) and exercising for 150 minutes per week can help reduce the risk of developing diabetes by 58%.  Think back to the days when you were fit and healthy and perhaps by just incorporating a few things from those days you will be able to get yourself on the right track to health and you'll keep diabetes at bay.

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