Obesity and diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is closely connected to excess weight and obesity.
The maintenance of an appropriate body weight is a key factor in avoiding or slowing down the development of diabetes.
Controlling excess fat located in the abdominal area is especially important because it can increase the probability of suffering future diseases such as diabetes and other metabolic alterations.
When a person is overweight or obese their body needs more insulin to carry glucose to the cells in their fat tissue. Obesity can also generate resistance to insulin, a phenomenon which means that cells do not respond to insulin and glucose cannot enter into them.
What you it turns into energy for your body. Carbohydrates or sugars in food pass directly to the bloodstream, increasing the levels of glucose in the blood. To lower these levels, the pancreas secretes insulin, a hormone which mediates the entry of glucose into cells, where it is used to generate energy.
There are two kinds of carbohydrates, sugars and starches:
Glucose and fructose included in fruits, fruit juices, milk, yoghurt, sweets, sugary drinks, chocolate and pastries.
Present in farinaceous foods such as pasta, rice, potatoes, pulses, bread and cereals, and pastries.
The abuse of foods rich in sugars wears out the pancreas, resulting in reduced insulin production and, in the worst case scenario, in resistance to insulin, a phenomenon which means that, although insulin is present, glucose cannot enter into the cells.
All of this makes the body work inadequately due to a lack of energy, and an increasing feeling of fatigue. The production of insulin is reduced because the pancreas is exhausted and in the end the levels of glucose in the blood rise, causing the development of diabetes.
Can children suffer from type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes usually appears in adults but it is more and more common at earlier ages and even during childhood. Children of 10 years and older who are overweight and have a diabetic first-degree relative should be examined regularly to detect diabetes, even if they do not show any symptoms.
Which children run the greatest risk of having type 2 diabetes?
There are diverse factors that increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes at an early age:
- Being overweight or obese
- Leading a sedentary lifestyle
- Having a first degree relative (parents, siblings) who is diabetic
- Being of Afro-American, Hispanic/Latino, native American, South-Pacific islands origin
- If the mother suffered from gestational diabetes
The best way to prevent type 2 diabetes during childhood is for your children to:
- maintain a healthy weight
- eat a balanced diet
Consult your doctor.