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Rapid Rise In Obesity Among Those with Type 2 Diabetes

Rapid Rise In Obesity Among Those with Type 2 Diabetes
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Approximately one of every five people with type 2 diabetes are more than 100 pounds overweight.  This disturbing information comes from an analysis performed by U.S. researchers at Loyola University Health System.

Among the findings recently published online in the Journal of Diabetes and its Complications a total of 62.4 percent of American adults who have been diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes are obese. Of these, 20.7 percent are morbidly obese, meaning that their weight is beyond 100 pounds heavier than the ideal body weight, and that that they have a body mass index (a measure of body fat based on height and weight) in excess of 40. The team also found that African-American adults having type 2 diabetes have an even higher morbid obesity rate, increasing to about one in three.

Lead author Dr. Holly Kramer said in a statement, “The rate of morbid obesity among people with diabetes is increasing at a very alarming rate and this has substantial public health implications.” For their compilation of representative samples of the American population, Kramer and her colleagues analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys that were conducted over three decades from l976-2006. These surveys included interviews as well as physical examinations. Results revealed a 141 percent increase in the rate of morbid obesity in type 2 diabetes between the survey periods of 1976 to 1980 and 2005 to 2006,  a sober reminder of the health risks of being severely overweight.

The data used in the study contained information on 4,162 men and women with type 2 diabetes, and 40,376 without the disease. Statistics derived from the analysis included findings that during the survey period adults with type 2 diabetes had an average body mass index increase of 17 percent, whereas among non-diabetics the increase was only 11.5 percent. The total increase in obesity among adults with diabetes was found to be 58 percent, while for those without diabetes, obesity rose by 136 percent. In addition to morbid obesity rising by an alarming 141 percent among diabetics, the rate of increase among non-diabetics reached 345 percent. Among all groups, a significant growth in waist circumference was observed.

The researchers noted that the availability of inexpensive food,  larger portions of food,  and soda consumption are a good part of the explanation for the massive increase.  In their reported they concluded, “The rapid rise of obesity among adults with type 2 diabetes has important implications for the future health of this population. Although cardiovascular risk among adults with type 2 diabetes remains high, obesity itself heightens risk of cardiovascular mortality, especially among women.”

Type 2 diabetes is a disorder characterized by high blood glucose resulting from insulin deficiency that is caused by insulin resistance, a condition in which  normal amounts of insulin are inadequate for the production of a normal insluine response from fat, muscle and liver cells. At onset, the condition is often managed by increasing the patient’s physical exercise along with the modification of diet. However, as the disease progresses, medication becomes necessary in most cases.

An estimated 23.6 million Americans suffer from diabetes, accounting for 7.8 percent of the population. Of these, about 17.9 million are diagnosed, with 90 percent of all diagnosed cases being type 2. As prevalence rates doubled between the years of 1990 and 2005, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention has deemed the increase an epidemic.

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