How does Obesity Cause Diabetes?

It has been well established by many scientific studies that there is a strong correlation between obesity and the onset of type 2 diabetes. While the connection between obesity and diabetes has been well known for years, what has been less clear is, How does obesity cause diabetes?

Not all obese people get diabetes

The difficulty for researchers who are conducting long-term studies aimed at explaining the mechanism by which obesity causes diabetes, is that similar conditions in patients do not produce the same outcome. In other words, being obese is not enough in and of itself to cause diabetes.

An independent study by researchers from the Centers of Disease Control concluded that the common factor among people with type 2 diabetes is being overweight or obese. However, out of 1,000 obese people, statistically only 18 will develop type 2 diabetes. Something else beyond simply excess weight is causing those 18 people to develop diabetes and the other 82 to not develop diabetes.


Fat cells and insulin

Scientists are now beginning to speculate that it may be related to the number of fat cells the person has. According to researchers at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, this is because fat cells release a protein called pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) which leads to the development of type 2 diabetes. Therefore, the number of fat cells that a person has will be directly proportional to the amount of this protein that is released.

Other researchers studying how obesity causes diabetes have come up with other answers, which appear to relate back to the protein released by fat cells. Originally, scientists focused on the role of insulin and insulin resistance, which is when a person’s body needs to produce greater and greater amounts of insulin in order to process glucose in the blood, eventually causing the pancreas to fail from exhaustion. However, it is now known that the protein released by the fat cells is what causes the insulin resistance or desensitization.


Other ways obesity affects insulin

According to a study conducted at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, fat cells also produce a hormone known as resistin. This hormone prevents cells from correctly responding to insulin. When cells are affected by resistin, the person develops abnormal blood glucose, appetite, and fat storage.

A study from the Harvard School of Public Health describes the process by which the endoplasmic reticulum, which is the part of the cell membrane that processes fats and proteins, is stressed by obesity. The endoplasmic reticulum sends out a signal which tells the body to ignore signals sent by insulin until it finishes processing.


More Articles

Having diabetes is cause for concern, however it doesn’t mean that you need to eliminate all of your favorite foods from your diet completely....

With diabetes becoming more of an epidemic each and every day, being knowledgeable about the disease, its effects on the body as well as ways to...

If you’re a diabetic or live with one, it can be tough trying to figure out the best foods to eat because your priority is to control your blood...

In this post, I will show you the 10 best ice creams for diabetics.

When you think of sweetened foods that a diabetic shouldn’t consume,...

If you’re living with diabetes, snacking is a necessity because going for more than 3-4 hours without eating can be detrimental to your health....

More Articles

For diabetics, choosing healthy snacks can be a daunting task.

A good rule of thumb is to pick out snacks that are rich in protein, fiber,...

According to information available through the National Institutes of Health, there’s an estimated 462 million people in the world who are...

Eleven Clinical Studies

After eleven clinical studies and 300,000 participants, researcher Vasanti Malik and her team of researchers...

Diabetic women often have a harder time losing weight than non-diabetic women. A study funded by Jenny Craig proved that diabetic women have an...

Many recent studies have proved that magnesium levels are lower in patients with diabetes than in non-diabetics. This magnesium...

Fluid retention, also known as edema, is a problem that affects many diabetics, especially those with type 2 diabetes...

Some of us might be thrilled if we could manage our blood sugar by sitting in a hot tub or sauna, instead of working up a sweat biking, or using...

Cooking and baking with the ancient cereal grain sorghum has health benefits for people with diabetes, and those with weight control issues....

When it comes to certain foods, there are always questions as to whether or not a diabetic can have them without...

With its slightly nutty flavor, chewy texture, and nutritional punch farro is an ancient whole grain worth a place in our pantry.

Farro...

Matcha tea is a rich, creamy, full-bodied beverage with amazing nutritional properties that address several diabetes health concerns.

The...

Salads are good example of foods that type 2 diabetics can enjoy with relatively low guilt. With the right greens and other elements added, salad...

Remaining gainfully employed is important to many people. Those who live with any form of diabetes may find that some lines of work are more...

Learning that you have diabetes does mean making some lifestyle changes. One of the areas that needs attention is your diet. Most people find that...

One of the more challenging aspects of life as a type 2 diabetic is managing your diet. There’s often the temptation to avoid certain foods...