Rates of Obesity Among Type 2 Diabetics Increased 141% Between 1976-2006

November 23, 2009

More than half (62.4%) of US adults with type 2 diabetes were found to be obese, and 20.7% are morbidly obese. Among African-Americans with type 2 diabetes, one out of three are morbidly obese.

One out of five individuals with type 2 diabetes (T2D) is morbidly obese, or about 100 or more pounds overweight, according to a new study from Loyola University Chicago.

More than half (62.4%) of US adults with T2D were found to be obese, and 20.7% are morbidly obese. Among African-Americans with T2D, one out of three are morbidly obese. During the survey periods 1976-1980 and 2005-2006, the rates of morbid obesity (a body mass index [BMI] greater than 40) in adults with T2D increased 141%.

According to the researchers, “two-thirds of adults with Type 2 diabetes are obese and about one-third of adults without diabetes are obese.” During the 30-year study period, the average BMI of patients with T2D increased 17%. The average BMI of adults without T2D also increased during the study period, but only by 11.5%.

According to Dr. Holly Kramer, a kidney specialist and lead author of the study published online in the Journal of Diabetes and its Complications, and her fellow researchers, the increase in obesity among diabetics and the general population is linked to more inexpensive costs for food, larger portion sizes, and increased intake of soda.

Among the patients studied, “the average age of adults with T2D increased from 56.7 years in 1976-1980 to 59.9 years in 2005-2006.” The amount of T2D who were men increased from 42.9 percent to 46.3 percent.

"The rate of morbid obesity among people with diabetes is increasing at a very alarming rate, and this has substantial public health implications," Kramer said.

Source: Loyola University Chicago