Obesity and diabetes

Obesity can lead to many series health issues, including Type II diabetes- a condition in which the body has trouble making or using insulin. Shiva Gupta, MD, the Medical Director at Tufts Medical Center Primary Care-Woburn, explains how excess body fat can contribute to many health problems and shares tips for avoiding and managing obesity and Type II diabetes.

What other medical problems can occur as a result of obesity? 

Being obese leads to increased risk of diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, cancer, hormonal problems, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, heart arrhythmias, gallstones, gout and many more health concerns. Treating and maintaining a healthy weight improves your overall health and quality of life. 

What can I do to lose weight when a normal diet and exercise aren’t giving me results?

It is important to understand nutrition facts and health consequences of specific diets and exercises. Talk with your primary care physician, some of whom are even certified in weight management, to help you determine the correct amount of nutrients and exercise to deliver results.

How do I know if I’m at risk for diabetes?

Being overweight, having a family history of diabetes and having polycystic ovarian syndrome are the common risk factors for diabetes. Your primary care physician can run blood tests to determine your insulin levels. If you have any risk factors, even if your tests are normal, you should still maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle and have periodic blood tests.

I am considered "at risk" for diabetes. How can I prevent it?

The best defense against diabetes is weight management. Maintaining a normal body weight keeps your body’s insulin levels normal and prevents diabetes.  

How can I start to lose weight? 

The easiest way to cut calories in your daily diet is to reduce or eliminate all sweetened beverages including soda and alcohol. Focus on a high intake of protein per meal and decreasing simple sugars like fruit juices and junk food. 

How can I subdue my cravings?

  • Eat regular, calorie-controlled meals. 
  • Avoid prolonged periods of starvation, which can trigger carb craving. 
  • Include protein in every meal, as it encourages satiety. 
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Increase your fiber intake.