Diabetes Community

How Your Weight Can Affect Diabetes

Amy Long Carrera, MS, RD, CNSC, CWCMS
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
04/30/12  6:17 PM PST

Did you know that nearly 9 out of 10 people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes are overweight? If you are overweight, losing some weight could help you better manage your diabetes. People with diabetes are more likely to be overweight and to have high blood pressure and high cholesterol. At least one out of every five overweight people has several metabolic problems at once, which can lead to serious complications like heart disease. 

Being overweight or obese is a leading risk factor for type 2 diabetes. A healthy weight is measured by your body mass index (BMI). A BMI of 25 or more is considered overweight. A BMI of 30 or more is obese. If your BMI is over 25, you are at higher risk. In addition to how much you weigh, where your extra fat is stored can also affect your health. Having an “apple shaped” body (extra fat around your middle) rather than “pear shaped” body (extra fat around your hips) raises risk for heart disease. Calculate your BMI with this online calculator from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.  

High blood pressure and type 2 diabetes often go hand-in-hand. High blood pressure or hypertension, increases your chances for heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. At least 40% of people with diabetes have high blood pressure, which often leads to stroke. High blood pressure may make stroke more likely in people with diabetes. Your body stores fat for future use for energy. Some of these fats or lipids are stored in your blood. Some are good for the body, like HDL cholesterol which helps protect your heart. In general the higher your HDL and the lower your LDL, the better. Triglycerides are another kind of blood fat that raises your chances for a heart attack or stroke if your levels are too high.

Are you ready to make some changes?

Yes, you’ll want to make some changes. And that’s not always easy. Change the habits that are easiest to change first. Try changing one or two at a time. Write down a few changes you want to make to take care of your diabetes.

Here are a few ideas to start:

  • Add more vegetables to your daily routine
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Get off the bus one stop early and walk the rest of the way
  • Hide the TV remote and get up to change the channel
  • Do small tasks while sitting in front of the TV
  • Walk the dog more often
  • Take some time with nature and work in the garden
  • Take a walk around the neighborhood

Also see Shield Healthcare’s Diabetes community article on Tips For Eating Out With Diabetes.



Post Comment