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This One Thing Can Seriously Increase Your Chances of Diabetes

But there is something you can do about it.

Approximately ten percent of Americans, 34 million, suffer from diabetes, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Type 2 is the most common, accounting for 90-95 percent of cases. There are multiple risk factors, some preventable and others not. However, one of them can increase your chances of developing by a whopping six times—and it might be within your control. Read on to find out what it is—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Had COVID And Should Tell Your Doctor.


What Is The Biggest Risk Factor For Type 2 Diabetes?

Obese man measuring his waist.

Jonathan Bogan, MD, Yale Medicine endocrinologist specializing in diabetes and weight management as well as associate professor of medicine and cell biology, Yale School of Medicine, explains that diabetes is a disease that results in altered metabolism, including excessive amounts of glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream. "This can lead to problems with the eyes, kidneys, heart, nerves, circulation, and other organs," he says.  

The biggest risk factor for type 2 diabetes, per Dr. Bogan? Obesity. According to a 2020 study, obesity increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by a whopping six times—regardless of genetic predisposition to the disease. Those who were overweight had a 2.4 times increased risk.


How You Can Prevent Hypertension Related to Obesity

Healthy woman making salad

In most cases, obesity is preventable. And, it can also be remedied. "The results suggest that type 2 diabetes prevention by weight management and healthy lifestyle is critical across all genetic risk groups. Furthermore, we found that the effect of obesity on type 2 diabetes risk is dominant over other risk factors, highlighting the importance of weight management in type 2 diabetes prevention," the study concluded. Dr. Bogan also endorses diet and exercise to help maintain a healthy weight. 

RELATED: The #1 Cause of Diabetes, According to Science


Other Dangers of Obesity

Nurse taking the blood pressure of elderly man

According to the CDC, "people who have obesity, compared to those with a healthy weight, are at increased risk for many serious diseases and health conditions." They are more likely to die from all-causes of death, more likely to have high blood pressure, high LDL and low HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglycerides (Dyslipidemia), coronary heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis (a breakdown of cartilage and bone within a joint), sleep apnea and breathing problems, many types of cancer, mental illness, body pain, and in general, a lower quality of life. 

RELATED: 9 Everyday Habits That Might Lead to Dementia, Say Experts


Obesity Also Significantly Reduce Blood Flow to the Brain

Woman touches temples with hands suffers from throbbing severe headache

Scientists at The Irish Longitudinal Study on Aging (TILDA) at Trinity College Dublin recently discovered that being overweight or obese can also significantly reduce blood flow to the brain, a term called "cerebral hypoperfusion." The new study pointed out that it is considered an early mechanism in vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease. And to get through life at your healthiest, don't miss: This Supplement Can Raise Your Cancer Risk, Experts Say.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more