Type 2 Diabetes Risk Factors
How did I get Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes (aka adult onset diabetes) is the most common type of diabetes, affecting 90-95% of all people with diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes was considered the adult type of diabetes, but now children are being diagnosed as well.
Genetics and lifestyle are the main factors contributing to type 2 diabetes.
How does genetics affect diabetes?
If you have a close relative with diabetes your risk is increased. Some ethnic groups such as Native Americans, Hispanics, and African Americans are at increased risk too.
What type of lifestyle choices contribute to diabetes?
Lifestyle choices are factors that you are able to control. Obesity, foods consumed, and activity level are directly linked to type 2 diabetes.
Obesity greatly increases risk for diabetes. Obesity hampers insulin's ability to remove sugar from the blood stream.
Where body fat is stored also affects your risk. Body fat stored in the abdominal area instead of the hip area increases risk for diabetes (the apple versus the pear shape).
Food Choices high in fat or empty calories can lead to obesity. Rich desserts and typical "junk food" snacks are easy to identify, but large portion sizes also contribute.
Excess calories in any form, whether it be excess fat, carbohydrates, or protein, is stored as fat which leads to obesity.
Physical Activity helps normalize blood sugar levels and burn calories. Childhood diagnosis of type 2 diabetes is on the rise largely due to physical inactivity.
It is more common to see childhood leisure activities consisting of computer games and television instead of skipping rope or playing tag.
How do I begin to change lifestyle choices?
The good news is that people can take control of their diabetes by eating right, exercising on a regular basis, and testing blood sugar. Good blood sugar control starts with you!
Christine Carlson, MS, RD, BC-ADM, CDE
GlucoMenu® Nutrition Director