Changing the conversation about health

New research suggests staying trim in middle age and later life prevents Type 2 diabetes

A new study into the link between obesity and diabetes has suggested that everyone has a ‘personal fat threshold’ and staying on the right side of it could help stave off a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis.

The research, carried out by Newcastle University‘s Magnetic Resonance Centre, said that people who have the same waistline in middle age and later life that they had at the age of 21 are much less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, which increases the risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke.

New research by Newcastle University found that maintaining the waistline you had at 21 in later life could help prevent a diabetes Type 2 diagnosis (Photo: Pixabay)

Study lead Professor Roy Taylor told the Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes this week: “As a rule of thumb, your waist size should be the same now as when you were at 21.

“If you can’t get into the same size trousers now, you are carrying too much fat and therefore are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, even if you aren’t overweight.”

The research found that those considered a normal weight with the condition could still go into remission from Type 2 diabetes if they lost weight, with eight in 12 people deemed non-diabetic after losing between 10 to 15 per cent of their body weight.

Prof Taylor said the results could prove useful to how diabetes Type 2 is tackled by GPs, saying: “Doctors tend to assume that Type 2 diabetes has a different cause in those who are not overweight.

According to Diabetes UK, Type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90 per cent of all diabetes cases (Photo: pixabay)

“What we’ve shown is that if those of normal weight lose 10 to 15% of their weight, they have a very good chance of getting rid of their diabetes.”

According to Diabetes UK, Type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90 per cent of all diabetes cases. Type 2 diabetes rates are increasing in children.

Around 35 per cent of children in Year Six (aged ten to 11) are now overweight or obese, a figure that’s expected to reach 40 per cent in the next four years.

In Chapter 11 of the College of Medicine’s 2021 manifesto Hope for the Future, herbal practitioner and College of Medicine council member Simon Mills writes on the obesity crisis: “The obesity time-bomb is ticking loudly – fuelled by cut-price offers and forceful advertising – and it’s already contributing to a looming healthcare crisis, with rates of
diabetes, cardiovascular disease and dementia all going in the wrong direction, putting huge strain on the NHS.”

Newcastle University's Magnetic Resonance Centre