Obesity and type 2 diabetes are actually two sides of the same coin. Both are characterised by insulin resistance (ineffective insulin) and hyper insulinism (excessive insulin). About 85 per cent of type 2 diabetic are obese and most obese people have insulin resistance and hyper insulinism that lead to diabetes. Obesity is known to play a central role in increasing insulin resistance in the human body.
The irony is that ‘late- onset diabetes’ or type 2 diabetes is occurring to children at 13 who are simply eating too much junk food. This can shorten life span and you must know that it is totally preventable.
It is interesting to know that childhood obesity often precedes the hyperinsulinemic state. An association of obesity with insulin resistance, hypertension, and abnormal lipid profile is seen nowadays amongst the younger generation as well.
Prevention of childhood obesity should be the main focus. More attention should be paid to increasing physical activity and decreasing calorie consumption. Once obesity is established in a child or adolescent, vigorous clinical efforts should be directed at treating it. Bringing about a change in behaviour and lifestyle could be a long-term solution but one can’t neglect pharmacological approaches that are available today.
Deal with type 2 diabetes
Eat low glycemic foods like oats, barley, bran, jowar, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Avoid sugar and foods containing sugar such as chocolates, desserts, sweets, soft drinks, white flour, cakes, biscuits, pizzas, rice, high sugar foods.
Don't drink fruit juices as they contains too much sugar (more than what a type 2 diabetic can handle).
Reduce intake of saturated and hydrogenated fats as it increases resistance.
Fish oils have shown to improve insulin resistance. So, eat fish three times a week or take fish oils supplements.
Increase fibre in your diet by increasing your intake of green vegetables and whole grains.
Walk for 30-40 minutes everyday.
The most important cause is eating too much of the wrong kind of carbohydrate. This is a path to self destruction — eventually leading to high blood pressure, high triglyceride, low HDL( good cholesterol). Other reasons include a genetic predisposition to the disease, stress and decrease in physical activity.
Dr. Anjali Mukerjee, Nutritionist and Founder, Director - Health Total