Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes


Obesity is strongly associated with diabetes and numerous other health issues. Abdominal obesity is one of the main causes of type 2 diabetes (T2D). According to the Hong Kong Diabetes Federation, 9 out of 10 patients with T2D are overweight or obese. These patients are prone to diabetes complications and their mortality rate is seven times higher than the average person. Other studies show that the prevalence of diabetes increases with higher body mass index (BMI). In overweight or obese individuals, high body fat percentage may cause resistance to insulin. This means blood sugar cannot effectively enter the body cells to be used, resulting in constant high blood sugar levels. High blood pressure and high blood cholesterol also often occur in overweight individuals.

Controlling weight can have many benefits such as improving high blood sugar, high blood pressure and high blood triglycerides, as well as discomfort in the joints such as knees, feet, and ankles. A 5% drop in weight every year can reduce the incidence of diabetes by 50 to 60%.

To prevent diabetes, or to control high blood sugar levels in obese individuals, maintaining a healthy diet and medication are important. Reducing sugar intake and controlling meal schedules also play a big role in maintaining the stability of blood glucose levels. It is generally recommended that diabetics try to avoid eating large amounts of foods that contain high sugar (such as rice noodles, bread). It may also help to eat smaller portions at evenly spaced times throughout the day. Continue to eat appropriate amounts of carbohydrates during each meal from foods such as nuts, fruits, skim milk and low-fat plain cheese.

Weight loss can be challenging for overweight individuals and those with T2D. However, it is achievable with the help and support of doctors, dietitians and family members, and you may also consider taking health supplements to control blood sugar in order to achieve your target weight, improve blood sugar levels and prevent complications.


Sources: 10.1002/oby.2200310.1093/ajcn/81.3.555

*This article is only provided for general information purposes and reference only and not designed or intended to constitute medical advice or to be used for diagnosis. Please consult a qualified medical professional for further advice on decision making on treatment and/or medication.