It is estimated that in 2012 29.1 million Americans had diabetes. There is often a misconception that diabetes only affects overweight men. In reality, one in five normal-weight adults now has pre-diabetes. This number is up by 8 percent from 1994. In adults over age 45 with BMIs under 25 it is reported that one in three has high blood sugar. This shows a jump into the double-digits in the last two decades. It is estimated that up to 30 percent of people with pre-diabetes will develop full-blown type 2 diabetes within the next 5 years.
Many factors are likely contributing to this increase including foods void of nutrients and packed with sugar in combination with a sedentary lifestyle. The scale can give a very false sense of health to people. They assume that as long as their BMI is under 25 they have nothing to worry about when it comes to their health.
For high blood sugar, total-body lean muscle mass is more important that even waist circumference. When people try to control their weight with food alone and neglecting exercise, this leaves their insides in an unhealthy state. It is said that even moderate exercise causes the muscles to absorb glucose at 20 times the normal rate.
Genetics also plays a part in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Genetic predisposition can have a major effect on a person’s chances of developing diabetes. Scientists are beginning to find a connection between young people who may have a bigger risk of developing type 2 if one of their relatives who is also lean was diagnosed. For example, if both parents have type 2 diabetes a woman has a 50 percent chance of getting it herself.
What can you do if you’re concerned about diabetes? You can begin by speaking with your doctor to see if testing is ideal for you. You can also make the changes to begin eating healthy foods, not just foods that may seem healthy. Choose unprocessed foods such as whole grains, fruits, and veggies. You can also look into adding regular exercise into your routine.