Does Being Overweight Increase the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes?


It is well known that being overweight or obese can lead to multiple health problems. Carrying more weight than your body is intended to means you are more likely to develop the following conditions:

  • Certain cancers
  • Heart disease and stroke
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Problems during pregnancy
  • High blood pressure
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Gout
  • Gallstones and gallbladder disease
  • Some cancers
  • Kidney disease
  • Sleep apnea and asthma
  • Skin conditions
  • Type 2 diabetes

Where your weight is collected also seems to be a determining factor in any related health conditions that may develop. If you are shaped like an apple, meaning that most of your excess weight is located around your stomach and your midsection, that can be more problematic than if your extra weight is predominantly located around your rear end and your hips (which is termed pear-shaped).

Many of your major organs are put under severe pressure by fat and excess weight around your midsection. This is also the body shape commonly seen in those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. As with many of the concerning health problems just listed, type 2 diabetes is more likely to occur when you have a weight problem.

Science Proves the Overweight/Diabetes Connection

We often turn to scientists, research and clinical studies to explain how the body works. In this way, we can use science to improve our lives. In 2004, a medical journal named Science reported on research that explained the link between overweight people having higher incidence rates of type 2 diabetes than those who carry a healthy body weight.

The Science report showed that being even just a little bit overweight puts stress and pressure on individual cells. If you have type 2 diabetes, your body makes plenty of insulin which would normally regulate healthy blood sugar levels. However, the cells in your body have for one reason or another become resistant to insulin. Scientists say they found that when you overeat, you put pressure on a network inside of your cells which is named endoplasmic reticulum (ER).

When this network receives too many nutrients for it to process, which is what happens when you overeat, it sends out an alarm signal. This signal tells your cells to lower their level of insulin awareness. They are less receptive to insulin. Over time, this leads to insulin resistance. If you only overeat every now and then, this may not become a problem. The issue arises when you consistently overeat, which leads to overweight and obesity, and can eventually trigger prediabetes and ultimately type 2 diabetes.

Lose the Weight, Lose the Diabetes

With type 1 diabetes your body does not produce enough insulin. This means you have to take insulin to regulate a healthy blood sugar level. Type 2 diabetes does not operate this way. With type 2 diabetes you may make plenty of insulin, but you have damaged your body’s ability to let insulin do its job properly.

Doctors have known for a long time that when you lose weight, you lower your chances of reaching a diabetic state. That means you improve your odds of avoiding all the unfortunate health conditions listed earlier. If you are at a healthy body weight you obviously don’t need to lose weight, and you are at low risk for developing diabetes. However, if you are overweight or obese, you are programming your body to create a “perfect storm” scenario that practically begs type 2 diabetes to pay a visit.

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