Reducing your risk of Type 2 diabetes?
Is it possible to prevent Type 2 diabetes?
If you know that you are prone to diabetes because, for example, you have a family history of Type 2 diabetes or you had diabetes during pregnancy, making lifestyle changes can help you delay or even prevent its onset. These changes include eating more healthily, becoming more active, and losing weight if you need to. Stopping smoking and drinking less alcohol do not affect whether or not you will develop diabetes, but they will help reduce your risk of developing heart disease.
How does keeping to the correct weight for my height help?
Your body will be able to handle glucose and use insulin as efficiently as possible. If you are overweight, your resistance to insulin increases.
Why is it important to stay physically active?
Physical activity helps you maintain your weight in the correct range for your height or to lose weight if you need to. It also increases your body’s efficiency at storing and using glucose. Furthermore, activity keeps your heart and blood vessels healthy – this is very important if you are at risk of developing diabetes.
Could I lose weight by changing my eating habits without doing more physical exercise?
Yes, eating less is the key to losing weight. However, activity can go a long way to help. For example, you can burn off excess calories thorough exercise. Reducing your calorie intake and using more energy than you take in will facilitate weight loss.
I am 50 and have been overweight for most of my adult life. Will losing weight now help me prevent diabetes?.
If you are overweight, losing weight will always improve your health, regardless of how old you are. There is no guarantee of preventing Type 2 diabetes, but being the correct weight for your height will greatly reduce your risk and will be of benefit if you do develop Type 2 diabetes
I’ve always been slim. Will this naturally protect me from Type 2 diabetes?
Being the correct weight for your height is an important part of reducing your risk of Type 2 diabetes. However, body shape is also important; carrying extra fat around your waist rather than your hips increases the risk of diabetes. Checking your body mass index and waist size will help you find out whether your weight and body shape are risk factors.
There is a lot of diabetes in my family and we tend to be overweight. I want to protect my teenagers from diabetes but they eat a lot of junk food. What can I do?
Your children are at risk of Type 2 diabetes due to your family history, and their risk increases if they become overweight (too much junk food can cause weight gain, especially if your children are not very active). Teach them about Type 2 diabetes and the role that high-calorie, high-fat, and junk food plays in weight gain. Including your children in the shopping for and preparation of food, adapting recipes, and helping them learn about food labeling may also help.
I am in my 60s and have Type 2 diabetes. How can I help my young grandchildren avoid developing it?
Encouraging healthy eating habits by offering meals and snacks that are low in fat, salt, and sugar (reserving candy and chocolate for special treats) will help reduce their risk. You could also encourage them to walk rather than being driven short distances, or play active games rather than sit in front of a computer or television.