Diabetes and Weight Gain

by Lois Etienne on September 6, 2012

in Diabetes,Lifestyle,Senior Health and Safety

Diabetes has doubled in the U.S. in the last 15 years and is highest among older adults ages 65 to 79. More than 25.8 million people – about 8.3 percent of the U.S. population – suffer from diabetes. The percentage of the population with the disease increases with age. About 10.9 million Americans age 65 years and older, or 26.9 percent of that age group, have diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and occurs when either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin, the American Diabetes Association reports. Insulin is necessary for the body to be able to use sugar.

Researchers at the University of Washington, Seattle, examined the relationship between measures of overall body fat, fat distribution, changes in these measures and diabetes risk among 4,193 men and women 65 and older.

They discovered that what kind of physical shape we’re in at age 50 and how much weight we gain between 50 and 65, greatly impacts our chances of developing diabetes. The things they were studying were the Body Mass Index (BMI), weight, fat mass, waist circumference, waist-hip ratio, and waist-height ratio.

What they found was that if you gained 20 pounds between 50 and 65 years of age, you had a three-fold greater risk of developing diabetes. If you were obese to start with at 50, and you gained those same 20 plus pounds, your risk jumps to five times greater.

So the point is, at any age, make healthy choices so that, however long you live, you can live an active, meaningful life.

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