Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity
JoAnne Rosenbluth, RD
Type 2 diabetes is increasing as the obesity epidemic
grows. Most people with type 2 diabetes are overweight when diagnosed.
Once a disease of adulthood, type 2 diabetes is now being seen in overweight
adolescents and children. The longer one has this disease, the greater the
risk of complications like kidney disease, heart disease, and blindness.
Approximately 95% of diabetes cases are type 2 (non-insulin
dependent). Unlike those with type 1 diabetes who must take insulin shots,
people with type 2 are often able to control their diabetes by making lifestyle
changes resulting in moderate weight loss.
Overweight people at risk for type 2 diabetes, who have not
yet developed the disease, can delay or prevent it through lifestyle changes.
These changes include: reducing calories and fat in the
diet, and exercise (like brisk walking) 150 minutes a week, resulting in a
slow, moderate weight loss of 5-7% of body weight, or just 10-15 pounds for
a 200 pound person.
Obesity rates are highest among low-income people who face
complex challenges when trying to eat healthy and exercise. Programs such as
food stamps, WIC, the Summer Food Service Program for school children, and Food
Bank produce distributions during the summer months can assist people trying to
make healthy food choices on limited budgets. The Food Bank offers workshops
for partner agency staff, volunteers, and clients to learn about food preparation,
serving sizes, and making healthful food choices with limited resources.
For more information please contact the registered dietician
at the Worcester County Food Bank, at (508) 842-3663.