To say that diabetes is associated with obesity is an understatement. Obesity is one of the primary causes of type 2 diabetes. According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 90% of those who are obese develop type 2 diabetes at some point in their lives. In America, one in every two people suffers from diabesity.
What Is Diabesity?
Diabesity is a term that conveniently describes type 2 diabetes in relation to obesity. These two conditions intersect too often, and both increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, which is the number one cause of untimely death in America. Both type 2 diabetes and obesity weigh heavy, no pun intended, on global businesses, economies, and budgets.
According to a 2013 statistic, over 380 million people worldwide had diabetes. Researchers expect that number to get close to 600 million by the year 2035. This isn’t to say that every obese person will develop diabetes, but research at the National Center for Biotechnology Information suggests a strong link between both conditions. The diabesity epidemic is substantial and can cause the following health problems:
- Decreased life expectancy
- Reduction in heart-related function
- Reduced quality of life
- Higher risk of strokes
- Long-range diabetic complications
What Happens To The Body During Diabesity?
Elevated blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure levels, in addition to insulin resistance, are the primary symptoms of diabesity. These symptoms result from poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, environmental toxins, and genetic susceptibilities. While studies confirm that there is a genetic component to obesity, genetics are not solely responsible for the obesity epidemic.
Diabesity And Diet
Of all the risk factors that contribute to diabesity, diet is the biggest one. Since it is a metabolic disorder, which affects improper insulin function, diabesity begins with a poor diet. A diet rich in processed foods and sugar & starchy carbohydrates causes the pancreas to continually pump insulin into the bloodstream. Cells become overwhelmed with insulin and they eventually become insulin resistant, which can result in full-blown type 2 diabetes.
Reversing Diabesity: The Answer Is Simple
There is no magic pill or medication that will magically fix the diabesity epidemic. In fact, there is nothing magical that we as a people need to do to resolve the issue. People with diabesity need to eat better and exercise frequently. This is easy to say and hard to put into action, but it is the truth. Once people start making healthier decisions about food, the healing can begin. It is hard to do that when the most affordable food is the worst for you. If two burgers, two fries, and two sodas only cost $7.99, something is clearly wrong with that food. Maintaining a healthy diet starts in the grocery store, and people have to always be mindful of what they eat. Here are some dietary tips:
- Avoid sugary juices and soft drinks
- Make fiber a part of your daily diet
- Make fruits and vegetables a priority
- Avoid packaged foods (which are filled with trans fats, saturated fats, chemical preservatives, and salt)
- Avoid refined carbohydrates and sugars
- Focus on healthy fats and nutrient-dense proteins
Pairing Your Healthy Diet With Exercise
Focusing on healthier foods is a big step in the right direction, but exercise goes hand in hand with diet if you want to be a healthier person. The World Health Organization (WHO) claimed that inactivity is the leading cause of death globally, followed by high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and tobacco use. Inactivity increases the risk of death more than obesity, hypertension, smoking, and high cholesterol. Studies have found that 20-25 minutes of moderately intense physical activity per day increases blood flow, contributes to muscle toning, and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. 20-25 minutes of exercise per day amounts to 150 minutes per week. That is not a huge commitment!
When you eat the right foods and exercise regularly, you’ll find that there are no more cravings or feelings of fatigue. You’ll start losing weight and living life with renewed vitality. Exercise and diet can be thought of as alternative medicine that helps build a healthier planet for years to come.