Obesity and Diabetes
Metabolic Health
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The Relationship Between Obesity & Diabetes

We all have grown up hearing how excessive weight is bad for our overall health, but not many explain the side effects of being overweight or obese. Obesity can develop in a person for numerous reasons like consuming too many calories, leading a sedentary lifestyle, consuming unhealthy food, etc. Still, it can also be genetically transmitted in some cases. If you have a significantly higher BMI or the fat percentage in your body is higher than normal, you are more prone to developing diabetes in the long run. Obesity and diabetes share a common link, so you should always strive to lose the extra weight from your body. 

If you want to prevent obesity and diabetes, you have to make healthy lifestyle changes and adopt an active lifestyle to lose weight. If you are trying to understand how obesity can lead to diabetes, this guide is here to answer all your questions. Read till the end, and you’ll have a clear understanding of the link between the two.     

How Does Obesity Increase the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes?

Obesity is increasingly becoming a common reason behind the growing number of diabetes cases worldwide. In fact, numerous studies suggest that people with obesity are 80 times more likely to develop diabetes than others. If you have excess fat accumulated around your abdomen area, you have a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes. You can better understand the relationship between obesity and diabetes by checking the following points:

1. Inflammatory Response

People with excess abdominal fat have abdominal obesity, a form that is risky and harmful for your health. Multiple research studies highlight how fat cells accumulated around the abdomen help the body release pro-inflammatory chemicals. These released chemicals make your body less sensitive to insulin by affecting the functionality and their ability to respond to insulin. It can be termed as ‘insulin resistance,’ which is the top marker of type 2 diabetes. 

2. Disruption in Fat Metabolism

Being overweight or obese can trigger your body’s metabolism. The changes in metabolism due to obesity enable fat tissues to release fat molecules into your bloodstream, negatively influencing the entire body metabolism, eventually leading to a decrease in insulin sensitivity. 

Some theories put forward by scientists suggest obesity leads to pre-diabetes. It is a metabolic condition wherein people can easily develop type 2 diabetes. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes and have a higher than normal BMI, you should make efforts to lose your overall body weight to prevent worsening of the situation.  

Which People Develop Diabetes with Obesity?

While obesity and diabetes have a direct link in some cases, it cannot be considered the sole reason behind type 2 diabetes or any other diabetes type. So even if you are not overweight, you can still get diabetes because of the following reasons:

  • Poor Gut health
  • Stress
  • Family history
  • Diet
  • Sedentary lifestyle

According to doctors, some people with obesity may produce higher insulin without taxing the pancreas. In contrast, people with a healthy weight can have limited insulin production, leading to an increased risk of diabetes. In a nutshell, it all depends on individual health conditions, so a diabetes check can be the best way to find out more details. 

Prevention of Obesity

One of the most effective ways to deal with diabetes is by bringing the overall body weight in check. Losing weight can really help you manage this lifestyle disorder. You can start in the right direction by reducing your calorie intake and increasing your activity levels. When you become physically active, burning body fat becomes easier. It also helps manage your blood sugar levels effectively. If your current condition requires instant fixes to aid your weight loss journey, you may consult a doctor to get some medications. 

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Reduce Weight to Reduce the Risk of Diabetes

By now, you must have developed a basic understanding of the link between obesity and diabetes. Too much fat accumulation in your body can disrupt your insulin levels and how your body responds to them. While losing weight won’t entirely help you get rid of diabetes (if you have it already), it will certainly help you manage the condition better. Losing 5% to 10% of your body weight can be a good start. If your diabetes has reached severe levels, it is best to consult a doctor and follow the recommended plan for significant results. 


1. Will Losing Weight Help Diabetes?

People in their pre-diabetic stage should aim to lose at least 5% to 10% of their overall body fat(if BMI is above normal level). If you can achieve this weight loss mark, you can significantly lower your diabetes chances. Losing weight helps maintain blood sugar levels, so people diagnosed with diabetes should also aim for weight loss to improve their health condition. 

2. What are the Main Causes of Diabetes?

The causes can be numerous, but the most common ones include obesity, hormonal diseases, genes & family history, insulin resistance, physical inactivity, etc. If you consume plenty of junk food high in sugar, unhealthy fat, and carbohydrate, you can also have a severely higher risk of developing diabetes. 

3. Does Stress Cause Diabetes?

Stress is not directly related to diabetes, but it does influence your blood sugar levels. On the contrary, having diabetes can give rise to stress in some people because managing this lifestyle disease is not easy. Chronic stress can also start showing up in your responses regarding how you look after your health, eventually leading to an increased risk of diabetes. 

4. What are the 3 Main Signs of Diabetes?

Increased urination, excessive thirst, and slow healing of wounds or frequent infections are some common signs of diabetes. Additionally, some other signs to look after are blurred vision, swollen gums, persistent hunger, foot pain, and dry mouth. If you are experiencing many of such symptoms, you should visit your doctor for a quick consultation.


This website's content is provided only for educational reasons and is not meant to be a replacement for professional medical advice. Due to individual differences, the reader should contact their physician to decide whether the material is applicable to their case.