A Case for Losing Weight: The Link Between Obesity and Diabetes

The numbers surrounding diabetes and obesity are nothing short of eye-opening. Since the 1970s and 80s, global diabetes numbers have almost quadrupled and obesity numbers have tripled. 

Bringing the statistics closer to home, it’s estimated that more than 30 million people in the United States have diabetes and another 84 million are considered prediabetic. Not coincidentally, 1 in 3 adults in the United States are overweight and another 1 in 3 is obese.

The reason we’ve supplied these numbers is to better illustrate the strong link between obesity and Type 2 diabetes, which researchers agree exists, as do we. The good news is that there’s evidence that weight loss can help you avoid diabetes, control it better if you’ve been diagnosed, and even reverse this chronic disease.

At the Weight Loss Institute of Arizona, our team understands the very serious health implications that stem from carrying extra weight, which is why we offer a wide range of services that include bariatric surgery and weight management counseling. Our goal is to partner with our patients for better health through weight loss. 

And when it comes to diabetes, we’re at the ready to help you stay one step ahead of the disease and its many health complications through weight loss.

Here’s a look at how diabetes and obesity are linked and what we can do about the problem.

Understanding diabetes

There are two main forms of diabetes — Types 1 and 2 — and we’re addressing the latter, which accounts for a large majority of diagnoses. Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which your body becomes insulin-resistant and can’t produce enough to regulate the levels of glucose in your blood. 

The effects of having high levels of sugar in your blood are very serious and can lead to:

This list is by no means comprehensive, but it gives you an idea of the widespread impact that Type 2 diabetes can have on your health.

Diabetes and your weight

While we’ve outlined the numbers above that show a connection between obesity and the likelihood of diabetes, the exact mechanisms are still unclear. What researchers posit is that fat cells are more resistant to insulin than muscle cells, so if you have an abundance of fat cells, you’re more at risk of developing insulin resistance.

Where you carry the weight appears to have some impact, too. If you’re prone to storing excess fat around your midsection, especially in your abdomen, this sets the stage for diabetes.

Another role that fat plays is that it can interfere with the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas, as well as the insulin-clearing mechanism in your liver.

While the direct correlation between obesity and diabetes remains unclear for now, researchers know that the link is indisputable.

Fighting back through weight loss

A study in the United Kingdom that was published in 2017 has garnered quite a bit of attention because it demonstrates that you can put your diabetes into remission through weight loss. 

In the study, researchers put 300 people with diabetes into two groups. One group continued their medications and made no dietary changes while the other group stopped their diabetes medications and went on a low-calorie diet. After a year, not only did participants in the second group lose an average of 22 pounds each, 46% of the group put their diabetes into remission.

This study has set off renewed efforts to control diabetes through weight loss, which is where we can help. We understand that weight loss can be frustrating, so we offer effective tools that give you a leg up in your battle.

To learn more about how you can lose weight, please contact any of our offices in Tempe, Phoenix, Tucson, Glendale, or Mesa.

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