If middle-aged adults want to decrease their chances of being diagnosed with diabetes, then they should maintain or lose some weight, as a new study finds that weight gain of less than three over ten years may increase chances of getting Type-2 diabetes by 52 percent.
Researchers found that if everyone who gained weight and then maintained it, regardless of their starting weight, one in five of all Type-2 diabetes cases in the population could have been prevented. The findings, appeared in the journal BMC Public Health, indicated that public health strategies that aim to prevent adult weight gain in the whole population have the potential to prevent twice as many cases of Type-2 diabetes.
“We have shown that a population-based strategy that promotes prevention of weight gain in adulthood has the potential to prevent more than twice as many diabetes cases as a strategy that only promotes weight loss in obese individuals at high risk of diabetes,” said first author of the study Dr. Adina Feldman from the University of Cambridge in England.
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They sought to determine the potential to reduce the occurrence of diabetes of strategies that aim to shift the distribution of body weight in the whole population. They analysed data from 33,184 people aged 30-60 years who attended two health examinations between 1990 and 2013.
By analysing these data they were able to determine the association between change in body weight between baseline and 10 year follow-up and occurrence of newly diagnosed diabetes at 10 year follow-up and assessed the impact of population-level shifts in body weight on the occurrence of diabetes.
The study found that 53.9 percent participants gained more than one kg/m2 relative to their starting weight (equivalent to three kg for an adult of average height) had a 52 percent higher risk of diabetes. “Thus, when it comes to body weight and diabetes, from a public health perspective it would be advisable to consider both high-risk and population-based strategies for diabetes prevention,” Feldman added.