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Diabetes Questions and Answers
How does my weight affect my risk of type 2 diabetes?
Weight and risk of type 2 diabetes are clearly linked. The risk of development of type 2 diabetes is related to body weight. For clinical purposes, weight is related to height by a formula known as body mass index or BMI. In our society, a BMI of 18 to almost 25 is considered to be healthy and from 25 to almost 30 is considered overweight. From 30 to 35 is considered to be obese and from 35 to 40 is severely obese. A BMI that is greater than 40 is considered morbidly obese, indicating that a person with this degree of obesity is at very serious risk of both immediate and long-term health problems. To calculate your own BMI, divide your weight in pounds by the square of your height in inches (i.e., your height multiplied by itself ) and then multiply the answer by 703. For example, if you are 5 feet 8 inches (68 inches) tall and weigh 148 pounds, your BMI will be 148 divided by 68  68, i.e., 148/4624 = 0. 032 and then multiplied by 705, i.e., your BMI is 22. 6 Congratulate yourself, as your weight is in the healthy range! Figure 3 shows the risk for development of type 2 diabetes according to weight for both men and women. The risk of having type 2 diabetes increases as weight increases, even within the normal range, especially for women. Severe and morbid obesity are associated with an almost 100 times greater chance of diabetes in women and almost 50 times for men. The reason for this is principally because the likelihood of having insulin resistance, a major causative factor for type 2 diabetes, increases as weight rises. Very physically active individuals who are overweight or obese by usual standards may be at little increased risk due to the protective effect of exercise.
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