Controlling Weight May Reduce Risk of Diabetes
July 19, 2005
Although people are typically born with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes is most prevalent and associated with obesity. In fact, an estimated 80 percent of those who develop type 2 diabetes are obese.

Karen Chapman-Novakofski, associate professor and nutritionist at the University of Illinois says that because there has been a rise in the number of obese teens, they're seeing more cases of type 2 diabetes in people earlier and even in youth younger than teens.

With diabetes being the leading cause of kidney failure, blindness, and amputation in adults, it can be a serious consequence of obesity but Chapman-Novakofski says that staying within a healthy weight range may prevent the onset of the disease.

She works with a program called "Dining with Diabetes" that helps people learn to cook healthier meals. It's a statewide Illinois Extension program that was first developed at the University of West Virginia.

Chapman-Novakofski encourages people to decrease calories, lose weight and increase exercise in order to reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.