Booster Shots

Oddities, musings and news from the health world

« Previous Post | Booster Shots Home | Next Post »

At risk of diabetes? Probably. Find out how much...

August 1, 2009 |  6:01 am

Insulin The "probably" is a reference to the fact that two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight or obese. That statistic has become so common it's failing to shock. (Here are the numbers from the National Center for Health Statistics.)

But the numbers themselves -- and their inability to dismay -- bode ill. They're national statistics, but the risk of Type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease is personal.

From a WebMD roundup of the risk factors for diabetes, specifically Type 2: "Research at the Harvard School of Public Health showed that the single best predictor of type 2 diabetes is being obese or overweight."

Here's more information from the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse on the risks for Type 2 diabetes. And here's a wealth of diabetes information from Medline Plus.

In short, if you're overweight, you're increasing your chances of developing a devastating disease that affects almost every part of the body. An online tool from the American Diabetes Assn. helps you assess that risk -- taking into account much more than weight. Unlike many online assessment tools that allow you to plug in only the barest of details, this one -- called My Health Advisor -- spends a bit of time inquiring about your personal health history and other factors. Then it offers up a personal assessment chart, based on research into those risk factors. (A related tool, My Food Advisor, can help you chart carbohydrate intake and other ways to improve your diet.)

Give it a try. The results take the theoretical and make it personal.

And in case you missed this week's drumbeat of obesity-related news, here's a refresher:

Growing obesity swells healthcare costs

Sebelius offers solutions to high cost of obesity

Tough love for fat people: Tax their food to pay for healthcare

And ... Lace up your sneakers and grab a hankie -- 'The Biggest Loser' is having a casting call

-- Tami Dennis

Photo: It doesn't have to be this way.

Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times