Obesity And Diabetes: A Deadly Duo

Obesity And Diabetes: A Deadly Duo

A new study sheds light on this dangerous combination.

High blood pressure, heart disease and stroke are just some of the problems that obesity can cause. Diabetes can also result from obesity and, if left untreated, can lead to problems like heart disease, vision loss, kidney disease and nerve damage. If obesity and diabetes exist together, could they be a deadly duo? A recent study based on the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) looked at this question to see if being obese and having diabetes can pose a greater risk of death than being obese and not having diabetes.

The NHIS study followed a large group of U.S.-born black and non-Hispanic white study members for about 10 years. Study members were placed into five groups based on their body mass index (BMI), so it was easy to see which members were obese. Study members who had diabetes, no matter what their BMI was, had a greater risk of death. The obese study members also had a greater risk of death and lower quality of life than those who were not obese, whether they had diabetes or not.

Tips For Staying Healthy

  • Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and lean protein, and limiting the amount of sugary and fatty foods in your diet are great ways to start improving your health.
  • Being active for 30 minutes most days of the week can help you keep your weight within a healthy range. At the same time, you’ll be keeping your heart healthy and lowering your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Even if you already have diabetes, the same rules apply.
  • Eating a balanced diet of high-fiber and high-protein foods, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products, will keep you fuller longer and will keep your sweet tooth in check.

By eating healthy and staying active, you can keep your diabetes under control, spend less time at your healthcare provider’s office, and increase the amount of time you spend enjoying a healthy life.

What does this mean for me?

Whether you have diabetes or not, eating a healthy diet and staying active can help keep your weight within a healthy range. Keeping your BMI below the obesity marker of 30 will lower your risk of diabetes and other health problems, such as high blood pressure and stroke. If you have diabetes, following a healthy eating plan and staying active will help you manage your blood glucose levels and protect against any additional health problems.

By Amy Campbell MS, RD, LDN, CDE

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