Diabetes and Obesity: How to lower your risk of diabetes and its complication with weight management

Obesity, as we all know, have reached epidemic proportions worldwide. In US population as of 2010 data, over 2/3rd of US population is overweight or obese. Of these 1/3rd of US population is obese. The data for type 2 diabetes is similar. If you follow the trend of type 2 diabetes and obesity prevalence, you will see that it is runs side by side. This is not surprising because we now know that obesity and type 2 diabetes are closely related to one another.

The fat cells produce chemical, called cytokines, that start a cascade of reaction that ultimately lead to inflammation. This inflammation ultimately causes metabolic disorders, such as, diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia.

Both diabetes and obesity (hence diabesity) share the same underlying causes (genetic makeup and unhealthy lifestyle) and this require the same treatment. They are 100% preventable and, in some cases, entirely reversible.

Diabetes is diagnosed by the following criteria:

  • HgA1c (Glycocylated hemoglobin) > 6.5%
  • Fasting plasma glucose > 126 mg/dl
  • 2-hr plasma glucose > 200 mg/dl post 75 gm oral glucose challenge
  • Random plasma glucose > 200 mg/dl with symptoms (Polyuria, polydipsia and unexplained weight loss)

Impaired Fasting Glucose or Prediabetes is diagnosed by  the following criteria:

  • Fasting plasma glucose 100 – 125 mg/dl [Impaired fasting glucose (IFG)] or
  • 2-hr post 75g oral glucose challenge 140 – 199 mg/dl [Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT)] or
  • HgA1C  5.7 % – 6.4 %

It is important to note that

  • By the time of diagnosis of diabetes, 20% of patients have already developed retinopathy, 8% have nephropathy, 9% have neuropathy and up to 50% have cardiovascular diseases.
  • Even before you develop diabetes, beta-cell in pancreas are getting affected leading to increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Obesity is assessed by body mass index (BMI):

BMI chart - For Weight Control





The risk of diabetes escalates with the degree of excess weight. Therefore, the prevention of weight gain in people with diabetes as well as impaired glucose tolerance should be the main focus of treatment strategies.

Weight loss will surely improve diabetes and other metabolic disorders. It is important to understand that while you lose weight, specially when you have other medical problems, such as, diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, etc., one should seek medical weight loss program which are physician supervised. Your current medications needs to be adjusted while you lose weight.

You learn about some easy weight reducing tips here.

At the Center for Medical Weight Loss & Metabolic Control, UMDNJ-SOM, we offer a Diabesity program designed for people who wants to lower their risk of diabetes, improve the current diabetes and lower the complication of severe diabetes.

Recommended Weight Loss Tools:

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About the Author: Adarsh Gupta