Statistics show that whilst obesity is the largest risk factor associated with type 2 diabetes, 11.3 percent of people are of a normal weight when diagnosed with the condition.
Type 2 diabetes is not such a simple disease and there are a number of ways in which insulin resistance, and therefore type 2 diabetes, can develop. Researchers have found that the link with obesity and type 2 diabetes appears to be dependent on the amount of fat that is stored within muscle tissue and around the organs. The fat that is stored around the organs is given the name visceral fat.
Whilst large amounts of visceral fat are usually found in people that are obese, it is possible for a higher amount of visceral fat to be present in people of a healthy weight too. Research has shown that factors, such as genetics and use of certain medications, notably steroids, can affect where fat is stored in the body. In addition, research in identical twins, has shown that stress can also influence the accumulation of intra-abdominal fat.
Just as people can accumulate visceral fat without being overweight, the flip side is also true that people can be overweight without having accumulating serious amounts fat around the key digestive and endocrine organs.
Research has yet to fully understand what influences the body to store fat around the organs, however, following lifestyle changes, such as eating a good quality food, taking regular physical activity and stopping any excess alcohol consumption are well regarded as effective ways to prevent visceral fat and insulin resistance developing.

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