Obesity is to blame for up to half of all new cases of type 2 diabetes in America, researchers have said.

A new report which has analysed data from two major studies has linked obesity to 30 to 53 per cent of all newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes cases.

In a statement, lead researcher Dr Natalie Cameron, a resident physician of internal medicine at the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University, said: “Our study highlights the meaningful impact that reducing obesity could have on type 2 diabetes prevention in the United States.

“Decreasing obesity needs to be a priority. Public health efforts that support healthy lifestyles, such as increasing access to nutritious foods, promoting physical activity and developing community programs to prevent obesity, could substantially reduce new cases of type 2 diabetes.”

The study also looked at ethnicity which involved 4,200 men and women aged between 45 and 79. Some were non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic Black and Mexican Americans.

The researchers also found a link between those who were considered obese and low earners. They were also more likely to be non-Hispanic Black and Mexican American.

Dr Cameron added: “Our study confirms there is a higher prevalence of obesity among non-Hispanic Black adults and Mexican-American adults compared to non-Hispanic white adults.

“We suspect these differences may point to important social determinants of health that contribute to new cases of type 2 diabetes in addition to obesity.”

The study findings have been published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

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