Does Obesity Cause Diabetes?
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention have stated that over one third of adults in the United States are obese, and of this one third, the majority either have diabetes or show many of the pre-diabetic markers.
The report which the CDC prepared demonstrates the gradual increase over the years in diabetes and weight levels, pointing to very serious health consequences both now and in the future. The question becomes “does obesity cause diabetes?”
Many studies have found correlations between obesity and type II diabetes. However, despite many blog posts which insist that studies have found a direct link between obesity and type II diabetes, the actual scientists are a little more cautious with their claims. Individuals who are overweight are more likely to have type II diabetes, but a fair number of relatively skinny people also have type II diabetes.
As “Information About Diabetes” points out, part of the problem is that similar conditions in patients do not produce the same outcome in regards to diabetes. There are many fat people who never get diabetes while other folks who are thin get it. The article concludes that “being obese is not enough in and of itself to cause diabetes.”
How Could Fat Not Be the Cause?
From listening to the media and the oversimplification of numerous stories, one could easily walk away assuming that mere fat on the body is what causes the type II diabetes. However, type II diabetes is caused through insulin problems which are exacerbated by the food that we eat. The excess weight does not help by any means, and it can lead to additional inflammation and further issue which worsen the diabetes.
Because of this, it seems more reasonable to conclude that it is the things that people eat that makes them more likely to become diabetic rather than merely being overweight. Sugar and carbs like the ones found in cake are high on the list of consumption, and most individuals with diabetes describe themselves as having a “sweet tooth.” That’s right. Even the skinny ones. It’s typically one of the things that they say they miss the most about not having diabetes.
A Surprising Solution
Weight loss has of course been linked to reductions in diabetes symptoms. Doctors frequently encourage patients to lose even just 5% of their total body weight, promising them that they will feel much better. And this is certainly quite true.
However, there is another even better solution. Many diabetics turn to sugar free foods to satisfy their sugar cravings. This in turn makes them even more ravenous for sweets as artificial sweeteners can be more addictive than regular sugar. But if instead of turning to these substitutes, they cut out sugar entirely, they might discover an even greater surprise.
Dr. Joseph Mercola reports that the low carbohydrate and high protein diet, a diet which eliminates artificial sugar and significantly reduces natural sugar, greatly benefits diabetics. Over time, it reduces the inflammation, balances out the insulin levels, and leads to their being able to resume normal life. Minus the sugar of course. He references several studies which have been conducted which have demonstrated this improvement. In spite of this though, the American Diabetics Association refuses to change its position in diet recommendations primarily because it feels that such diets are “too hard to keep up in the long term.”
For those suffering from diabetes though, it is well worth the attempt. Following the recommendations on this blog and cutting out as much sugar as possible while focusing on good lean protein is challenging. You’ll have sugar cravings for awhile. And it’s going to take some relearning. After all you might make the mistake of thinking orange juice and other “healthy” foods are good for you, when in reality they could be causing your problems.(If you don’t believe it, check this out!)
The first three days are the hardest.Then after that, you need to get through the first week. Once you get past the first month, it’s all become quite natural. Within that first week though you’ll start improvements in the way you feel. You’ll start to get more energy as your hormone and insulin levels balance. It’s well worth the investment, and good health is worth it. In addition to this, you’ll start to lose weight as well which will further help to reduce the negative side effects of diabetes.
So while obesity may not directly cause diabetes, the things which cause obesity like sugar seem to be one of the primary problems. While everyone can benefit from reducing sugar and carbohydrates and increasing lean protein, you should give this even more serious thought if you struggle with diabetes or if it runs in your family.
PS: Love this article? Find it mildly bothersome?
Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
“Obesity Rates,” Center for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html (2012).
“How Exactly Does Obesity Cause Diabetes,” Information About Diabetes, http://www.opposingviews.com/i/health/food-and-nutrition/dieting/how-exactly-does-obesity-cause-diabetes (2012).
Dr. Joseph Mercola, “Low Grain and Carbohydrate Diets Treat Hypoglycemia, Heart Disease, Diabetes, Cancer, and Nearly All Chronic Illness,” Mercola, http://www.mercola.com/article/carbohydrates/scientific_evidence_low_grains.htm (2012).