Diabesity is a term that is used to define diabetes typically associated with obesity. The inability of the body to regulate and control blood sugar levels leads to diabetes. The pandemic has significantly changed people's lifestyle, resulting in an increase in physical inactivity among adults and children. Lifestyle and eating habits have also contributed a lot to the cases of diabetes and obesity, i.e., diabesity. The increasing demand for junk and fast food among children has further aggravated obesity among kids. Read ahead as Dr. Sonali Patange, Consultant Diabetologist at Dr. Sonali Patange’s Speciality Diabetes Centre (A CGMS Speciality) shares her insights on the topic.
According to the World Health Organization, one out of every ten Indian youngsters is at risk of developing type 2 diabetes because of the dramatic increase in obesity. Till 30 years ago, type 2 diabetes in children and young adults was non-existent.
Prevention is better than cure
According to a recent study 4 out of 5 people diagnosed with diabetes are overweight or obese. It is also a fact that complications for people diagnosed with diabesity are seven times higher. This is an alarming number that needs immediate attention. People who are overweight and those with a family history of diabetes are more likely to have Type 2 diabetes.
Fighting diabesity with Oral semaglutide: A promising innovation in diabetes care
Medications that can help target diabetes and obesity together are therefore the need of the hour. This goal is achieved with the advent of Semaglutide - a GLP-1 receptor analogue (GLP-1 RA) and therapy used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Until recently, semaglutide was only available as an injection. However, studies indicate that given the choice between injectables and oral medication, people prefer to use oral medication. Oral semaglutide is therefore highly beneficial for patients who prefer oral medications to injections. Moreover, it helps achieve multiple targets simultaneously - glycaemic control and weight loss, so it is one of the best choices for people with Type 2 diabetes. Additionally, patients taking oral semaglutide are at a lower risk of hypoglycaemia.
Prevalence of Obesity in Diabetes
Being overweight or living with obesity is a significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Around 90% of adults who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are overweight. Similarly, people who are overweight are five times more prone to getting diagnosed as diabetic than adults of a healthy weight. People living with obesity have a seven-fold higher risk of diabetes compared to those of normal weight, while overweight people have a three-fold higher risk. It is well understood that body fat distribution is a significant factor in one’s risk of developing diabetes.
Obesity is widespread in India. These statistics are quite alarming. Obesity has a high cost in terms of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s disease, hence public health actions to limit its impact are critical.
Medication and timely treatment are essential and must be accompanied by professional care at home. Keeping diabetes under control is as simple as following a few simple guidelines. The best way to do this is by adhering to your medication regimen, eating healthy and exercising. Consuming a diet of whole grains, lentils, chickpeas, and unsweetened dairy products is a healthier choice for patients. Consuming too much sugar puts one at risk of obesity. It is recommended you limit the consumption of red and processed meat as well since these are linked to heart problems and obesity. For diabetic patients, consuming healthier fats and smart snacks should be the mantra.
With a healthy lifestyle, staying aware of symptoms, talking to your doctor about the best treatment options for your case, along with timely visit to a physician, one can easily manage obesity leading to type 2 diabetes.
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