OK – this is a subject that many people get emotional about.
There is evidence that people who are overweight are more likely to be diabetic – that much is true.
It is really important to understand what that sentence means though.
If you are overweight, then there is a greater chance that you will also be diabetic.
That is not the same as saying that being overweight can cause diabetes, in fact there is some evidence to suggest that it may be the other way round – at least in part.
As researchers start to recognise that the ‘early stages of diabetes’ happen a lot earlier than they previously suspected, they start to see more and more thin and normal weight people who show signs of diabetes – tracking these people allows them to see that the two conditions can go hand-in-hand – in other words, it may actually be the diabetes that is responsible for the weight gain, or at least some of it, and not the other way round.
Why is this important?
Well, it certainly isn’t a suggestion that we diabetics shouid stop trying to lose weight – far from it – there is plenty of evidence that losing weight helps improve our symptoms.
The reason it is important is because it helps to remove some of the stigma and guilt from being overweight and diabetic, and if that helps more diabetics to accept and treat their condition, or more overweight people go for testing, it is well worth discussing