The International Diabetes Foundation (IDF) says that, “Diabetes and obesity are the biggest public health challenge of the 21st century.”
As of 1999, diabetes affected 16 million (six percent) of Americans – an increase by 40 percent in just ten years. During the same period, the obesity rate climbed from 12 percent to almost 20 percent.
Type II diabetes has been found to be associated with obesity. Being overweight forces extra stress on the body, wherein important functions like the ability to maintain appropriate blood sugar levels are affected.
Our lifestyle today, plays a vital role in both, diabetes and obesity. In the earlier days, people used to be outdoors more, play physical sports, do household chores. Nowadays, with the advent of technology and gadgets for just about everything- there are computers / phones to do online shopping, grocery shopping, paying bills, and machines to do household chores like washing machines, dish washers, vacuum cleaners etc. People lead a sedentary lifestyle.
The less we move the fewer calories we burn and this is not only a question of calories. Physical activity effects how your hormones work, which in turn have an impact on how your body manages food. Several studies have shown that physical activity has a positive effect on your insulin levels – keeping them stable. Unstable insulin levels are closely linked with weight gain.
The easy availability of fat rich foods, microwave meals, comfort foods- like chips, beverages loaded with sugar, is also a major cause of obesity, and indirectly diabetes. People find it easier to grab a bag of chips on the run or a can of aerated water rather than take a fruit or home prepared sandwich. Such food habits also give rise to obesity, and are detrimental for diabetics.
So, healthy eating and regular exercise are a must, not only for diabetics, for the general population and mostly the governments.