Obese Americans are steadily lowering their cholesterol and blood pressure levels. While this progress signifies a positive change in health attitudes, there’s still a large percentage of that demographic whose blood glucose levels are getting worse, says a new study. This in turn elevates their risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Researchers analysed data collected in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey over the course of three decades from 18,000 obese adults.
Their findings – published in the Journal of the American Heart Association – show that between 1988 and 2014 the number of those individuals with diabetes increased by 19%, which would explain the increase in blood glucose levels.
In addition, the rate of obese adults free of three cardiovascular disease risk factors – diabetes, elevated cholesterol and blood pressure – stayed the same at around 15%. However, obese adults with all three risk factors increased by 37%.
“The adverse impact of obesity on blood sugar status appears to develop over a longer period of time, and the population is still experiencing progressive worsening of glycemic status,” said Fangjian Guo, M.D., Ph.D., study co-author and assistant professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of Texas, in Galveston, Texas. “If blood sugar goes high too often, it can overwork the body’s ability to keep blood sugar in healthy ranges increasing the risk of developing diabetes complications.”
Researchers say that the need for obese adults to better control their weight – and their blood glucose levels – is a public health priority.
The biggest problem with obesity is that it impairs your ability to regulate sugar. This impairment over a long period of time results in diabetes, meaning those who are overweight are at serious heightened risk of a heart attack, stroke or even coronary death. It’s imperative that obese Americans with diabetes seek out effective weight loss methods; not simply for aesthetic reasons, but in order to save their lives.
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