How did I get diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes (aka adult onset diabetes) is the most common type of diabetes, affecting 90% 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.
Physical activity and planning a healthy diet can help you maintain a healthy body weight and reduce diabetes complications.
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- Genetics - 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.
- Lifestyle - Lifestyle or environmental factors that may lead to diabetes. 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).
- Diets 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, stores as fat which leads to obesity.
- Physical activity is a lifestyle choice that you have the ability to control.
Exercise 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.