Diabetes – Diseases Caused By Obesity

The health risks linked to  obesity  are clearly recognized by experts and one of the most common of these is diabetes. Diseases caused by  obesity  are debilitating, even life-threatening and will result in many people dying ten to twenty years earlier than they would otherwise have done. Perhaps the most shocking aspect of this is the fact that many children and teenagers are becoming obese and as a result some of them will die before their parents. If  obesity  is the cause, many cases of these serious illnesses are preventable.

What exactly is diabetes and how is it related to  obesity ?

There are two types of diabetes, the cause of Type 1 is unknown and it occurs when cells in the pancreas which produce insulin are damaged and fail to do their job. This can happen after a viral infection or if a person has had a severe shock. Type 2 diabetes generally occurs in people over 40, often with a family history of the illness and around 80% of the people in this group are overweight. In Type 2 Diabetes, the body does produce insulin, but it either doesn’t produce enough or it can’t use insulin properly. Insulin is needed by the body to convert sugar into energy. Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes in the developed world and is now becoming increasingly common amongst younger people. Symptoms include excessive thirst, frequent urination and tiredness. Diabetes can lead to heart and kidney problems, as well as blindness and so it is important to make sure it is controlled.

Although the causes of diabetes are unknown, scientists have established that there is a definite link between overeating and type 2. Therefore developing a healthy eating pattern and taking sufficient exercise are important factors, both in prevention and disease control.

Anyone who is very overweight is at risk of diabetes. Diseases caused by  obesity  can, however, be prevented. Adults who are affected should take steps to reduce their weight and parents should teach their children about the dangers and help them to develop habits which will enable them to avoid these in later life.

© Waller Jamison 2007