February 21


The Link Between Diabetes and Obesity

By Gabriela

February 21, 2022

When it comes to diabetes and obesity, studies only show a link between both things. There are a few types of diabetes. These types are unified by blood glucose and its elevated levels.

The first type of diabetes, type 1 accounts for 10 percent of cases. It occurs as a result of the autoimmune destruction of the beta cells found in the pancreas, which makes and releases insulin.

The 3c also known as secondary diabetes occurs when there is the destruction of the beta cells in the pancreas through processes like surgical resection, alcohol, and inflammation.

The most common diabetes is type 2 diabetes which accounts for 90 percent of cases. The 2 terms diabetes and obesity are usually used interchangeably.

What Type of Diabetes Links to Obesity?

As a matter of fact, only type 2 diabetes is linked to obesity. Being obese or overweight increases the chances of having type 2 diabetes, which is the most common type of diabetes. (1)

According to epidemiological studies the greater the BMI, i.e., body mass index of a person, the greater the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, that does not mean that obesity leads to type 2 diabetes.

Most obese people will never have type 2 diabetes. This fact exposes the known statement that obesity leads to diabetes as absurd. Instead of saying that obesity is a cause of diabetes, it is more precise to frame this problem as one of the links between both things. (2)

As a person gains weight, the sensitivity of his/her tissues to insulin and its effect diminishes, this is known as insulin resistance. As a result, the beta cells in the pancreas that make insulin, need to work more in order to make more insulin. (3)

How This Works

Because of weight gain, the body encounters insulin resistance. So, the beta cells in the pancreas need to work harder in order to make more insulin. More insulin is necessary to help compensate for insulin resistance. (4)

It depends on the pancreas, regardless of gain weight some people never develop type 2 diabetes if they produce enough insulin.

The chance to develop this type of diabetes depends on the beta cells. And also their ability to make more insulin. The point when the beta cells are no longer capable of making enough insulin is called “beta-cell exhaustion.”

When this occurs, usually there is an inexorable decline when it comes to the release of insulin, when the blood glucose levels increase and eventually type 2 diabetes becomes manifest.

The genetic makeup defines the strength of the beta cells of the pancreas. Due to this, we can say that type 2 diabetes is a genetic condition. In terms of obesity or weight gain, they contribute to the manifestation of this condition.

The development of this type of diabetes is complex. There are a lot of processes involved. Those are gut bacteria and their role, excretion of sugar in the urine, the pancreatic hormonal function and its control, and regulation of appetite.

However, insulin resistance and weight gain seem to connect to these processes. But, there is a way to improve insulin sensitivity.

How to Improve Insulin Sensitivity

In order to improve insulin sensitivity, we need to regulate our weight and exercise on a regular basis. We need to avoid sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation can boost insulin resistance.

And the most important element is to maintain a varied diet. A diet that limits AGEs, i.e., advanced glycation end-products and processed foods.

There are techniques that lower the consumption of AGEs. Those techniques are the use of acidic marinades like vinegar and lemon juice, short heating times, and preparation technique with high moisture.

There is plenty we can do. It is said that a 5 % reduction in body weight with exercise of moderate intensity can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 50 percent.


  • Gabriela

    Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Diabetes Health Page, Fitness trainer and instructor has dedicated her career to educating and informing people for over 10 years. As one of the most passionate diabetes advocates, Gabi has worked tirelessly to ensure that those people receive the education and support they need to properly manage their diabetes and achieve their health, fitness and weight loss goals.

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