Does Obesity Possess A Higher Risk Of Diabetes? How It Is Related?


Diabetes, as we all know, is one of the most common diseases. Although common, it does not make it any less concerning or lethal. About 422 million suffer from diabetes throughout the world, and a huge number of 1.6 million deaths are attributed to it every year.

As of the year 2016, 1.9 million people were obese with 650 million of them overweight, a situation of having a body mass index greater than 30. But why are these two statistics talked about here? 

Does Obesity Possess A Higher Risk Of Diabetes?

Often, overweight people are advised to work on diet and their weight to prevent diabetes. But a few have asked why, and even fewer answered it.

Science has outlined a link between obesity and diabetes, but the answer to ‘how’ is not clear. The exact causes of diabetes are not yet fully explained, there are various factors that lead to different types of diabetes. One such factor of type 2 diabetes includes overweight and obesity. 

Does Obesity Possess A Higher Risk Of Diabetes?

It is a widely known fact that having excess weight around the abdomen leads to the risk of diabetes. Studies say that tummy fat causes the release of pro-inflammatory chemicals from fat cells, which leads to the body becoming insensitive to insulin production. This hinders the role of cells that respond to insulin.

This is what is medically called insulin resistance, the emblem of type 2 diabetes. Also called non-insulin-dependent diabetes, is the most common type reported in more than 90% of diabetic patients. 

Experts say that obesity may trigger the metabolism of the body which leads to changes in fat tissue disposing of fat molecules in the blood. This, in turn, affects insulin-responsive cells leading to insulin insensitivity. Scientists also believe that obesity causes prediabetes, a condition that further leads to the development of type 2 diabetes.

Another research put forward by the experts is that being overweight pushes the cells’ insides. Overeating pressurizes the endoplasmic reticulum, which is a membranous network of cells. 

When the endoplasmic reticulum has nutrients that it can not handle, it signals the cell to dump the insulin receptor on the surface of the cells. This leads to insulin resistance and high sugar concentration in the blood, which is a concerning sign of diabetes.

A study was conducted on the subject and was published on October 15 in the Science journal. Its author Dr. Gokhan Hotamisgil said that ER is really the synthetic machine of the cell. It carries the responsibility of processing fats and proteins.

Director of Duke University’s Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center, Christopher Newgard, accompanied the study. He calls the endoplasmic reticulum a factory that produces protein and site of processing excess lipids and blood fats.

Newgard explained that living in a supersized society makes people full of overnutrition. All these nutrients then need processing, storage, and utilization. This stresses the ER and it becomes overburdened and starts sending alarms. He further called it ER’s way of explaining to the body that it is being bombarded with nutrients.

When there is too much insulin, the cell knows but would not want receptors to send signals because it’s already overworked. Thus, insulin loses the capacity to clear glucose from the body. Apart from suppressing responses, it also causes cell inflammation. 

Hotamisgil along with his companions carried out trials on mouse models they discovered that mice who lacked a protein known as XBP-1 developed resistance to insulin. It appeared that increased XBP-1 prevented ER stress. This could be helpful in developing new therapies for type 2 diabetes. 

Diabetic patients often complain of frequent urination and experience increased hunger and thirst. Since there is a close link between diabetes and being overweight, doctors mostly focus on exercise and diet.

Oral medications are prescribed to induce insulin and in many cases, injections are used to control sugar in the blood. While treating the disease doctors recommend losing weight, and a couple of studies appearing in New England Journal agrees with the connection. 

Even when the conditions are chronic, there are a lot of things people can do to take charge of their health. Diabetes is highly preventable. Lifestyle plays an essential role in changing health for good. Following a diet or workout that helps losing extra weight reduces the risk of developing diabetes. People are advised to eat healthily, stay fit and lead a healthy life.

For More Reference: Best Home Remedies To Lose Weight Within 10 Days

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