Type 2 diabetes has reached staggering proportions worldwide. According to the CDC, it affects about 30 million people in the US alone — and numbers in the UK and Europe are also high and on the rise.

For decades, experts in the fields of medicine, research, and public health have debated which factor is the strongest predictor of type 2 diabetes. Is it having certain genes? Being overweight or obese? Not getting enough exercise? Eating an unhealthy diet?

Now, a new study suggests that obesity may very well be the most important risk factor for type 2 diabetes:

Diabetologia: Obesity, unfavourable lifestyle and genetic risk of type 2 diabetes: a case-cohort study

As part of a larger study, a Danish research team followed 4,700 people who developed type 2 diabetes during a period of roughly 15 years. They assessed the extent to which participants’ genetic predisposition, lifestyle behaviors, and weight status increased their risk of type 2 diabetes.

The researchers’ findings? People with obesity were nearly six times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people of normal weight, regardless of their genes or whether they had “favorable lifestyle behaviors” — not smoking, getting regular activity, avoiding excessive alcohol, and eating a healthy diet.

Importantly, participants who were obese (defined as a BMI of 30 or higher) with low genetic risk and a favorable lifestyle were more than eight times as likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared to those of normal weight with similar genes and lifestyle.

Even more alarming, those with obesity, a high genetic risk score, and an unfavorable lifestyle were found to have a whopping 14-fold increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Being overweight, on the other hand, was linked to only slightly greater diabetes risk than being of normal weight.

Because this is an observational study, it can’t prove obesity causes type 2 diabetes. And certainly, many people who aren’t obese also develop this disease. However, the associations here are so strong that the connection between obesity and type 2 diabetes is hard to deny.

Although these results are concerning, at Diet Doctor, we believe a low-carb diet could hold the key for millions of people with obesity who want to reduce their diabetes risk and improve their overall health.

It’s a way of eating that’s often very effective for weight loss and reversing type 2 diabetes. Additionally, it can reduce other metabolic risk factors by lowering insulin, liver fat, and triglyceride levels. Finally, a low-carb lifestyle is based on nutritious, satisfying foods that can help people lose weight without going hungry.

 
Weight Loss for Good — 10-week keto program

How can you lose weight on keto? How do you maintain weight loss? Sign up for our 10-week program Weight Loss for Good to start losing weight now!


 

Earlier

Bigger breakfasts increase calorie burn rate. Should we care?

Researchers reveal that nuts have fewer calories than previously thought

Start your FREE 30-day trial!

Get delicious recipes, amazing meal plans, video courses, health guides, and weight loss advice from doctors, dietitians, and other experts.

Weight lossHow to maximize fat burning03:52Dr. Fung’s fasting course part 2: How do you maximize fat burning? What should you eat – or not eat?“I’ll do this or I’m going to die trying”19:23Kristie Sullivan struggled with her weight for her whole life in spite of trying every diet imaginable, but then she finally lost a 120 pounds and improved her health on a keto diet.The 5 common mistakes on LCHF09:25Is it hard to reach your goal weight, are you hungry or do you feel bad? Make sure you’re avoiding these mistakes.My success story with Kenneth Russell02:52When Kenneth turned 50, he realized that he wouldn’t make it to 60 the way he was going.My success story with Chuck Hicks02:39At nearly 500 lbs (230 kg) Chuck could barely move at all anymore. It wasn’t until he found a keto diet that thing started to change.Carb-Loaded1:14:40This may be the best (and funniest) low-carb movie ever. At least it’s a strong contender.The pathways of insulin resistance30:41Are we chasing the wrong guy when it comes to heart disease? And if so, what is the real culprit in the disease?Pie-making champion goes low carb03:23Learn how this pie-making champion went low carb and how it changed his life.Insulin toxicity — Dr. Jason Fung’s diabetes course09:03Dr. Fung looks at the evidence on what high levels of insulin can do to one’s health and what can be done to lower insulin naturally.How to motivate your patients50:25In this presentation from Low Carb Denver 2019, Drs. David and Jen Unwin explain how physicians can finetune the art of practicing medicine with strategies from psychology to help their patients reach their goals.Living low carb with Yvonne Lane05:51Yvonne used to see all those pictures of people who’d lost so much weight, but sometimes didn’t really believe they were real.Are all calories the same?20:04Are all calories created equally – regardless of whether they come from a low-carb, low-fat or a vegan diet?The hidden costs of medications44:51Can medications prevent or hinder your efforts to lose weight and become healthy? Jackie Eberstein at the Low Carb Cruise 2016.My Big Fat Diet42:31What would happen if an entire town of First Nation people went back to eating the way they used to? A high-fat low-carb diet based on real food?The cause of obesity38:45What is the real cause of obesity? What causes weight gain? Dr. Jason Fung at Low Carb Vail 2016.Part 7 of Dr. Jason Fung’s diabetes course05:01Dr. Fung gives us a comprehensive review of what causes fatty liver disease, how it affects insulin resistance and, what we can do to reduce fatty liver.My success story with Jim Caldwell02:23Jim Caldwell has transformed his health and gone from an all-time high at 352 lbs (160 kg) to 170 lbs (77 kg.Diet Doctor Podcast #35 with Ben Bikman, PhD00:00Why is insulin so important for us to control and why does a ketogenic diet help so many people? Professor Ben Bikman has studied these questions in his lab for years and he is one of the foremost authorities on the subject.How to think about how to eat — Gary Taubes30:34In this presentation from the Low Carb Denver conference, the amazing Gary Taubes talks about the conflicting dietary advice we are given and what to make of it all.A global food revolution34:30The mistakes behind the obesity epidemic and how we can fix them together, empowering people everywhere to revolutionize their health.Q&A with Franziska Spritzler09:52Questions about how to formulate an optimal low-carb or keto diet.80 pounds lighter and no medications09:12Is it possible to reverse your diabetes with the help of a strict low-carb diet? Definitely, and Stephen Thompson did it.The engineer who knows more than your doctor12:55Can an engineer know more about how to get healthy than his doctor, in fact more than his three doctors?Is obesity caused by too much insulin?25:27Is obesity mainly caused by the fat storing hormone insulin? Dr. Ted Naiman answers this question.

The post New study finds obesity is the most important risk factor for type 2 diabetes appeared first on Diet Doctor.

Read more: dietdoctor.com