What Your Weight Really Means
November 02, 2017
By Molly Smeltzer, Advocate BroMenn Health & Fitness Center
In a recent study, researchers found that at least 50 percent of Americans have some form of insulin resistance, which is associated with diabetes, pre-diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. The more surprising data from this research is a high percentage of those found to have diabetes or pre-diabetes are not overweight or obese.
“Weight is not always an accurate tool by which to gauge metabolic health,” states Dr. Robert Lustig, professor of pediatric endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco. It is common to exercise to lose weight, but the benefits extend much farther than the scale. Whether you are at a healthy weight or not, you need to exercise. Dr. Lustig’s research shows that there are actually more thin sick people than overweight sick people, and the two biggest factors are sugar consumption and inactivity.
The CDC estimates that one in nine adults has diabetes and, if current trends continue, one in three will be diabetic by the year 2050. While the number of people diagnosed with diabetes continues to go up, the age at which people are being diagnosed is going down. The number of diabetes-related hospitalizations among people in their thirties has doubled in the past decade, with women 1.3 times more likely to be admitted than men. The number of people with pre-diabetes is perhaps the more troubling statistic, 65 million people which is up from 57 million in 2007. The bigger problem is about 93 percent of pre-diabetics do not even know they are sick.
If you are reading this and are not sure if you may be diabetic or pre-diabetic, start by talking to your doctor. A fasting blood insulin or fasting glucose test can confirm this and the time to take action is now. Also, start moving more. Sitting for more than eight hours a day has been shown to increase your risk for type 2 diabetes by 90 percent, and, in this desk-strapped culture we live in, you have to make the time to get up and move.
Fortunately proper exercise and attention to diet have huge effects on the course of this disease. A study of healthy middle-age adults were able to improve their insulin sensitivity and blood sugar regulation after just two weeks of interval training three times a week. This study also involved people with type 2 diabetes, and just one interval training session was able to improve blood sugar regulation for the next 24 hours.
Remember that just because you are not overweight, it does not mean you are metabolically healthy, especially if you live a sedentary lifestyle. The good news is that there is plenty you can do. Make sure you are getting up every hour to move and promote circulation and incorporate 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least five times a week. If you are not sure how to get started, talk to your doctor or a fitness professional.
Advocate BroMenn Health & Fitness Center is a medically based fitness facility, located at 1111 Trinity Lane in Bloomington. It is open to anyone, seven days a week, with exercise professionals on staff at all times. The Center includes a warm water hydrotherapy pool, lap pool, group classes, and a 1/12 mile track. For more information, you may contact them at 309-433-WELL (9355), or visit them online at advocatehealthfitness.com.
Back to Top