Obesity may increase diabetes risk
Apr 22, 2006 - 5:47:37 PM

People who are obese may be at increasing risk of getting diabetes, says a study that reiterates the belief that a change in lifestyle could help.

Linda S. Geiss from US' Center for Disease Control and Prevention and other researchers analysed data collected every year from a national sample of 31,000 Americans, reported the online edition health magazine WebMD.

In addition to detailed health and demographic data, they also asked each person if he or she had ever been told by a health professional that they have diabetes.

The researchers found that people with diabetes overwhelmingly tend to have one thing in common: being obese or overweight.

From 1997 to 2003, there was a 41 percent increase in the incidence of diagnosed diabetes. In 2003, two out of every 1,000 normal weight people had diabetes.

In the same year, diabetes struck 18.3 out of every 1,000 obese people, and 5.5 out of every 1,000 overweight people, the researchers said.

Obesity is by far the best predictor of being newly diagnosed with diabetes. But it's not the only one.

"Age, race, and educational level all are associated with diabetes," Geiss says. There's not much you can do about your race or your age. There is a lot you can do about your weight-related diabetes risk.

"Diabetes can be prevented among people at high risk." It will take some minor but admittedly difficult lifestyle changes: becoming active, and losing a little bit of weight.

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