People with a BMI (body mass index) of between 35-40 are almost nine times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, according to a large UK study.
The research involving 2.8 million adults suggests that even study participants classed as slightly overweight doubled their type 2 diabetes risk.
People in the BMI bracket of 40-45 are 12 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, the results also revealed.
Public Health England called for “sustained action” on the back of the findings, which were presented to the European Congress on Obesity taking place in Glasgow.
While these findings are undoubtedly concerning, it should be noted how overweight people who are at risk of type 2 diabetes can reduce this risk. People with prediabetes have been able to lose weight and improve their blood glucose levels by joining our award-winning Low Carb Program, which shows how eating a healthy, real-food diet can lead to health benefits, including prevention of type 2 diabetes.
The BMI study findings came after researchers trawled health records, including BMI data, contained in the database UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink from January 2000 to July 2018.
They then used information from hospitals to calculate the risk of developing chronic health conditions. The outcomes were poorer for people with health problems (such as high blood pressure) at the beginning of the research.
The results showed that people with a BMI of 30-35 had a 70% greater risk of heart failure compared to people in the 18-25 BMI bracket. Those with a BMI of 40-45 had three times the risk of heart failure and high blood pressure as well as abnormal cholesterol levels. People in this 40-45 bracket were twice as likely to have a premature death from any cause.
Lead author Christiane Haase, who works for the study’s funders Novo Nordisk, said: “With the number of people living with obesity almost tripling worldwide over the past 30 years [105 million people in 1975 to 650 million in 2016], our findings have serious implications for public health.”
The British Heart Foundation’s nutrition lead Victoria Taylor added: “More than a quarter of UK adults are obese and it’s something that we urgently need action on.”
The researchers did highlight the fact that the study was observational and not conclusive, saying people were included in the study because they had been to see their GP to have their waistlines measured for a reason.

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