Diabetes FAQs

do you have to be overweight to have diabetes

by Prof. Edythe Kiehn Published 1 year ago Updated 11 months ago

It's a common myth that only overweight individuals will develop diabetes, both type 1 and type 2. While it's true that weight can be one factor that increases a person's risk for developing diabetes, it's just one piece of a larger picture. People of all shapes and sizes — and yes, weights — can develop diabetes.

Full Answer

Do you need to be overweight to get type 2 diabetes?

You also don’t need to be overweight to have low HDL, high triglycerides, or elevated blood sugar. Having any of these can increase your risk. If you’re concerned about getting type 2 diabetes, it’s important to know your numbers and understand what they mean.

Is weight the only risk factor for diabetes?

Given that approximately 85% of people who develop type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese, it certainly is an important risk factor. But, it’s not the only one. If we get too focused on weight, we’re missing the whole picture. Why is Your Blood Sugar So Important? Have More Questions About Preventing Diabetes?

How many people with diabetes are overweight?

Approximately 89% of people who have diabetes are overweight or obese, which is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 25 kg/m2 or higher. There are about 27 million people in the U.S. who have diagnosed diabetes, which means roughly 3 million people who have diabetes are considered as having a normal weight.”

What are the health risks of being overweight and obese?

Being overweight raises your risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. It can also increase the risk of high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol, and high blood glucose (sugar). If you are overweight, losing weight may help you prevent and manage these conditions.


Can you be skinny and have diabetes?

People often assume that if you're skinny, you're healthy — people only get diabetes if they're overweight. Right? Not necessarily. “Diabetes isn't related to how you look,” explains Misty Kosak, a dietitian and diabetes educator at Geisinger Community Medical Center.

Can you be diabetic with normal weight?

We tend to think of type 2 diabetes as a disease that afflicts people who are overweight. But it can also appear in people with perfectly healthy weights—and be more deadly in them.

At what weight does diabetes start?

Being overweight (BMI of 25-29.9), or affected by obesity (BMI of 30-39.9) or morbid obesity (BMI of 40 or greater), greatly increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The more excess weight you have, the more resistant your muscle and tissue cells become to your own insulin hormone.

Why does a person get diabetes?

The exact cause of most types of diabetes is unknown. In all cases, sugar builds up in the bloodstream. This is because the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes may be caused by a combination of genetic or environmental factors.

Can fit people have diabetes?

No matter how thin or fit you are, you can still get diabetes. About 10%-15% of people with type II diabetes are at a healthy weight, a condition called lean diabetes. Even if you do not have visible fat, you may have visceral fat, which is fat that grows around your organs.

Does stress cause diabetes?

Stress doesn't cause diabetes but it can affect your blood sugar levels and how you look after your condition. Having diabetes to manage on top of life's normal ups and downs can itself be a cause of stress. It's not always easy to live with and this can also feel harder when many people don't understand it.

What are the 3 main signs of diabetes?

Here are more details about the signs and symptoms of diabetes:Excessive thirst and increased urination. Excessive thirst and increased urination are common diabetes signs and symptoms. ... Weight loss. ... Blurred vision. ... Slow-healing sores or frequent infections. ... Red, swollen, tender gums.

Can diabetes come on suddenly?

In people with type 1 diabetes, the onset of symptoms can be very sudden, while in type 2 diabetes, they tend to come about more gradually, and sometimes there are no signs at all. Symptoms sometimes occur after a viral illness.

Can diabetes be cured?

There's no cure yet, but our scientists are working on a ground-breaking weight management study, to help people put their type 2 diabetes into remission. Remission is when blood glucose (or blood sugar) levels are in a normal range again. This doesn't mean diabetes has gone for good.

What foods can cause diabetes?

These four food types increase your risk of type 2 diabetes:Heavily processed carbohydrates. ... Drinks sweetened with sugar. ... Saturated and trans fats. ... Red meats and processed meats.

Does eating too much sugar cause diabetes?

Though we know sugar doesn't directly cause type 2 diabetes, you are more likely to get it if you are overweight. You gain weight when you take in more calories than your body needs, and sugary foods and drinks contain a lot of calories.

Can you avoid diabetes?

Yes! You can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes with proven, achievable lifestyle changes—such as losing a small amount of weight and getting more physically active—even if you're at high risk.

Can a thin person get type 2 diabetes?

Gaining too much weight is a major contributor to Type 2 diabetes, since excess fat cells can affect the way the body breaks down glucose and produces insulin, but some normal weight individuals can develop the disease as well.

Can you have type 2 diabetes with a normal BMI?

Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) is frequently regarded as a disease of obesity and its occurrence in individuals of normal body mass index (BMI) is often regarded as indicating a non-obesity-related subtype.

What percentage of people with type 2 diabetes are normal weight?

A BMI of 18.5 to 24.99 is considered normal weight, while anything over 25 was considered overweight or obese. Depending on the study, between 9 percent and 21 percent of participants were normal weight when diagnosed with diabetes.

The proof that you DON'T have to be overweight to get type 2 diabetes: The five slim people whose disease is linked to low-fat yoghurt, stress at work and even pregnancy

More than 2.8 million Britons have been diagnosed with the Type 2 diabetes


Diabetes is diagnosed in a number of ways, but traditionally this has been with a urine or blood test to check glucose levels.

Why Thin People Get Diabetes

If you think only overweight men need to worry about diabetes, wake up. One in five normal-weight adults now has prediabetes, up 8 percent from 1994, finds new research from the University of Florida. Among adults over age 45 with BMIs under 25, one in three has high blood sugar, a double-digit jump in two decades.

How A Thin Diabetic Reversed Her Type 2 Diabetes

I received a letter from reader Sarah, who has successfully used low-carbohydrate high-fat diets and intermittent fasting to reverse her type 2 diabetes. Interestingly, she is not particularly overweight as measured by body mass index, yet still suffered from T2D. At her heaviest, she only had a BMI of 24.9, which puts her in the ‘normal’ range.

One-third Of Slim American Adults Have Pre-diabetes

Among normal-weight individuals, those who were inactive were more likely to have an A1C level of 5.7 or higher, which is considered to be pre-diabetic Among all the normal-weight inactive participants (aged 20 and over), about one-quarter were either pre-diabetic or diabetic When only those inactive people aged 40 and over were analyzed, the percentage rose to 40 percent Inactivity increases your risk of pre-diabetes even if you’re not overweight or obese By Dr.

Weight And Diabetes

A balanced diet and an active lifestyle can help all kids maintain a healthy weight. For kids with diabetes, diet and exercise are even more important because weight can affect diabetes and diabetes can affect weight. This is true for kids and teens with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes. In diabetes, the body doesn't use glucose properly.

Skinny People Get Type 2 Diabetes Too: 10st 7lb Man Who Exercised Regularly Is Stunned To Learn He Has The Condition - Which He Then Reversed In 11 Days With New Diet

When I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes four years ago I was stunned. I’d gone for a check-up, and a routine blood test said it all: diabetes. But it made no sense. As a healthy 59-year-old, who went running, played regular cricket, drank moderately (2 units a week) and only weighed 10st 7lb, I was hardly overweight.

Thin And Type 2: Non-obese Risk Factors For Developing Diabetes

Emily got quite a surprise when she went for her annual physical exam. The lab tests taken showed that her blood glucose readings were in the range of someone with type 2 diabetes.

Weight And Diabetes

Being active and eating healthy are the best ways to manage weight. This advice works for everybody, but it can be particularly helpful for people with diabetes. That's because weight can influence diabetes, and diabetes can influence weight.

Getting started with weight loss

Weight loss can be hard because it involves changing the way you eat and your physical activity. Losing weight also takes time, which can be frustrating. The good news is that you can lose weight and keep it off, even if you've never done it before.

Small steps

Most people find it easier to make healthy changes in a few small steps instead of all at once. Set realistic goals within a timeframe that works for you, and don’t let stalls or setbacks throw you off course.

Keep a record

Many people find that writing down everything they eat helps keep them on target. Give it a try—even for just a week—to see where you stand.

Your support system

Many people find it helpful to meet with people who are also trying to lose weight—either online or in person. Think about joining a group for weight loss, exercise, or general support. Or create your own support network by talking with friends and family about your successes and your struggles. You may be surprised at how supportive they will be.

What does diabetes say about weight loss?

A common message is that losing weight is just a matter of willpower, and if you have been losing weight and reach a plateau, it's because you've lost your willpower and are no longer following your diet. Furthermore, for people with type 2 diabetes, the message often is that weight loss is the answer to improving glucose control: “If you just lose 20 lb, you won't need insulin.” What does research tell us about these issues, and what should our messages as health professionals be to people with diabetes? Obesity is a serious worldwide problem and is associated with the risk of developing diabetes. Today, more than 1.1 billion adults worldwide are overweight, and 312 million of them are obese.1 In the past 20 years, the rates of obesity have tripled in developing countries that have adopted a Western lifestyle, with the Middle East, Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia, India, and China facing the greatest increase. Consequently, the number of people with diabetes in these countries is expected to increase from 84 million in 2000 to 228 million by 2030. Thus, preventing obesity is a high priority for the prevention of diabetes and other chronic diseases. According to some obesity researchers, it may not be possible to decrease the current numbers of overweight and obese people in the United States, but we need to try to slow or prevent the increase that has been occurring at an alarming rate.2 The hope is that slowing the rising prevalence of obesity will also slow the diabetes epidemic. Can this be accomplished? Thus fa Continue reading >>

Why is it important to lose weight with diabetes?

Why It Pays to Lose Weight If You Have Type 2 Diabetes The point is not to get skinny. The point is to gain the benefits of exercise. (ISTOCKPHOTO) About eight out of every 10 people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese, and excess weightparticularly around the belly is a major cause of type 2 diabetes. Some people can even "cure" the disease with massive weight loss (including bariatric surgery ). However, the relationship between weight and type 2 diabetes is a tricky one. Complex relationship between genes, weight, and diabetes An unexplained weight loss is sometimes a sign that's something wrong. So when you are finally diagnosed and treated you may actually gain weight. In addition, it's not clear if extra weight causes diabetes, or if some underlying genetic component contributes to both. "A lot of folks who are overweight and who are sedentary won't get diabetes. So there's an important genetic contribution to developing diabetes that's out of people's control," says William Bornstein, MD, an endocrinologist at the Emory Clinic in Atlanta. "Secondly, it may be actually harder for folks with diabetes to lose weight, that that may be part of the disease as well." Certain diabetes drugs, such as sulfonylureas, thiazolidinediones, meglitinides, and insulin, are associated with weight gain, too. However, the blood-sugar-lowering benefits of these drugs outweigh the risks of gaining weight. (Others, such as Byetta and metformin, may result in weight loss). While it may feel like the deck is stacked against youparticularly if you've lost and regained weight in the pastyou should still make an all-out effort to shed excess pounds. Now that you have type 2 diabetes, the goal isn't to get back into your high school jeans, but to prevent heart attacks, save your vis Continue reading >>

Can Losing Weight Get Rid Of Diabetes?

But whats most important is diabetes that stays away. From the physicians and dietitians at the Pritikin Longevity Center, get key facts on how to lose weight and lose diabetes permanently. Can losing weight get rid of type 2 diabetes? Yes. In fact, important new research published in The Lancet has found that the more weight you lose, the more likely type 2 diabetes will go away. New research 1 from scientists in the United Kingdom suggests that remission of type 2 diabetes is possible through weight management. The trial, led by Michael Lean, MD, of the University of Glasgow, included 306 overweight and obese people, ages 20 to 65, who had type 2 diabetes for a maximum of 6 years. Half of the participants were randomly assigned to an intervention group that put them on a very low-calorie diet. The other half, the control group, received standard diabetes care but no specific guidelines to cut calories dramatically. After one year, the intervention group lost an average 22 pounds. The control group shed just 2 pounds. And after one year, 46% of those in the intervention group were able to achieve remission of type 2 diabetes. Only 4% in the control group did. Remission was defined as achieving an HbA1c (a measure of long-term blood sugar control) that was less than 6.5% without the use of medication for a minimum of 2 months. Among those in the low-calorie intervention group, nearly a quarter shed 33 pounds or more, which was the studys primary goal. None in the control group achieved such a weight loss. More weight loss, more diabetes remission The scientists found that the more weight lost, the greater the likelihood of diabetes remiss Continue reading >>

Is Type 2 Diabetes Reversible?

Several factors contribute to type 2 diabetes. Being overweight or obese is the biggest risk factor. Type 2 diabetes can be life-threatening. But if treated carefully, it can be managed or even reversed. Your pancreas makes a hormone called insulin. When your blood sugar (glucose) levels rise, the pancreas releases insulin. This causes sugar to move from your blood to your cells, where it can be used as an energy source. As glucose levels in your blood go back down, your pancreas stops releasing insulin. Type 2 diabetes impacts how you metabolize sugar. Either your pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or your body has become resistant to its effects. This causes glucose to build up in the blood. This is called hyperglycemia. There are several symptoms of untreated type 2 diabetes, including: excessive thirst and urination fatigue increased hunger weight loss, in spite of eating more infections that heal slowly blurry vision dark patches on the skin Treatment for type 2 diabetes includes monitoring your blood sugar levels and using medications or insulin when needed. Doctors also recommend losing weight through diet and exercise. Some diabetes medications have weight loss as a side effect, which can also help reverse diabetes. If you start eating healthier, get more exercise, and lose weight, you can reduce your symptoms. Research shows that these lifestyle changes, especially physical activity, can even reverse the course of the condition. Studies that show the reversal of type 2 diabetes include participants who have lived with the condition for only a few years. Weight loss is the primary fact Continue reading >>

How do I get a high chance of developing diabetes?

Perhaps you have learned that you have a high chance of developing type 2 diabetes, the most common type of diabetes. You might be overweight or have a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes. Maybe you had gestational diabetes, which is diabetes that develops during pregnancy. These are just a few examples of factors that can raise your chances of developing type 2 diabetes. Diabetes can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, and eye and foot problems. Prediabetes also can cause health problems. The good news is that type 2 diabetes can be delayed or even prevented. The longer you have diabetes, the more likely you are to develop health problems, so delaying diabetes by even a few years will benefit your health. You can help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by losing a modest amount of weight by following a reduced-calorie eating plan and being physically active most days of the week. Ask your doctor if you should take the diabetes drug metformin to help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.1 How can I lower my chances of developing type 2 diabetes? Research such as the Diabetes Prevention Program shows that you can do a lot to reduce your chances of developing type 2 diabetes. Here are some things you can change to lower your risk: Lose weight and keep it off. You may be able to prevent or delay diabetes by losing 5 to 7 percent of your starting weight.1 For instance, if you weigh 200 pounds, your goal would be to lose about 10 to 14 pounds. Move more. Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week. If you have not been active, talk with your health care professional about which activities are best. Start slowly to build up to your goal. Eat healthy foods most of the time. Eat smaller portions to reduce the amount of calories you Continue reading >>

What is the cause of high blood glucose levels?

Diabetes is a group of disorders characterized by chronic high blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia) due to the body's failure to produce any or enough insulin to regulate high glucose levels. There are two main types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes, which often occurs in children or adolescents, is caused by the body's inability to make insulin or type 2 diabetes, which occurs as a result of the body's inability to react properly to insulin (insulin resistance). Type 2 diabetes is more prevalent than type 1 diabetes and is therefore seen in roughly 90% of all diabetes cases. Type 2 diabetes is predominantly diagnosed after the age of forty, however, it is now being found in all age ranges, including children and adolescents. The impact of diabetes goes beyond chronic hyperglycemia. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness (diabetic retinopathy), end stage kidney diseases (diabetic nephropathy) and non-traumatic lower extremity amputations (diabetic neuropathy) in working-age adults. People with diabetes are also two to four times more likely to experience cardiovascular complications and strokes. Diabetes and its related complications result in an estimated 200,000+ deaths each year, making diabetes one of the major causes of mortality in the U.S. In 2012, the NIH reported an estimated 29.1 million Americans (9.3% of the population) living with diabetes. Of these, an estimated 8.1 million persons were unaware that they had the disease. How does my weight relate to type 2 diabetes? There are many risk factors for type 2 diabetes such as age, race, pregnancy, stress, certain medications, genetics or family history, high cholesterol and obesity. However, the single best predictor of type 2 diabetes is overweight or obesity. Almost 90% of people living with type 2 diabetes Continue reading >>

How does diabetes affect the body?

Diabetes: What You Need to Know People with diabetes have an increased risk of strokes, heart attacks, high-blood pressure, kidney disease and blindness. If you are obese, you can reduce your risk of developing diabetes by eating a low-fat, low-sugar diet and exercising regularly. If you can lose 5-10 percent of your body weight, you will lower your risk of developing diabetes by 58 percent. Johns Hopkins can help you lose this weight with our weight loss services, including behavior modification, nutritional counseling and a new, special endoscopic procedure. Learn more about our weight loss services. Types of Diabetes There are three types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2 and gestational (diabetes that occurs during pregnancy). Type 1 typically occurs during childhood. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type and is linked to obesity. See a table that explains blood sugar values and types of diabetes. How diabetes is harmful Most people don’t really understand the way diabetes works, but a firm grasp of how it affects your body chemistry will help you better control the disease. Your body is made up of millions of cells, and these cells use glucose as their energy source. Your body gets glucose from the food that you eat. After a meal, your body secrets a hormone called insulin into your blood; insulin works as a signal to let your cells know that glucose is on the way to feed your cells. But, for people with diabetes, the signals that tell the cells to absorb the sugar are defective, or the body does not make enough insulin. As a result, high levels of glucose remain in the Continue reading >>

How to reduce risk of diabetes?

Reduce your stress levels. Getting your stress levels down can lower your risk of diabetes. Try avoiding stressors, exercising more and practicing mindfulness with yoga or meditation.

Can you get Type 2 diabetes if you are thin?

Not necessarily. No matter how thin you are, you can still get Type 2 diabetes.

Is NAFLD a predictor of diabetes?

NAFLD is a predictor of diseases like Type 2 diabetes, and some experts think it may even cause diabetes. Almost 1 in every 3 adults has NAFLD, which is caused by excessive amounts of sugar — especially sugar from syrups, like high fructose corn syrup.

Can visceral fat make you look overweight?

If you have visceral fat, you may not look overweight, but you may have as much fat as someone who is overweight.

Does diet affect visceral fat?

Your diet is an important factor in your risk for diabetes. Even if you’re thin, a poor diet can still result in visceral fat.

Can alcohol cause fatty liver?

Most people have heard about fatty liver disease, especially as a result of too much alcohol. But there’s another condition called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which, as the name indicates, is not caused by overindulgence in alcohol.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9