From Warwick, Rhode Island, USA:
What are the causes of type 2 diabetes, and how can you avoid getting it?
The cause of type 2 diabetes is a complex combination of genetic susceptibility along with a lifestyle inconsistent with your genetic makeup. People inherit the tendency for an efficient metabolism which is an advantage if you live in a time of feast and famine and have to work hard to get enough food to survive. This metabolism allows your body to store fat more efficiently and keep it stored. When you take that body into the 20th century where the food is plentiful and the fat level in food is high and then give that body a car to drive, you have the setup for diabetes.
We don't know yet if we can prevent or delay it; the Diabetes Prevention Program is a large clinical trial looking at diet and exercise and medications to see if it will delay or prevent diabetes in people with impaired glucose tolerance.
There have been some preliminary studies that showed improvement in numbers of people who go on to get diabetes when they kept their weight normal and exercised consistently. Certainly, it couldn't hurt to eat low fat and exercise consistently. Since you know you have a risk for diabetes if your relatives have it, you should be checked yearly for diabetes.
Original posting 16 Nov 1998
Posted to Research: Causes and Prevention
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