Obesity is linked to a nearly 6-fold increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D), with high genetic risk and unfavourable lifestyle also increasing risk but to a much lesser extent. The findings were presented at this year’s Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Spain.
According to the International Diabetes Federation, approximately 425 million adults (20-79 years) were living with diabetes in 2017; by 2045 this is expected rise above 600 million.
The researchers found that having an unfavourable lifestyle and obesity are associated with a greater risk of developing T2D regardless of their genetic risk. Obesity (defined as a body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or higher) increased T2D-risk by 5.8-fold compared to individuals with normal weight.
The authors say the effect of obesity on type 2 diabetes risk is dominant over other risk factors, highlighting the importance of weight management in type 2 diabetes prevention.