How to Reduce Your Diabetes Risk

How to Reduce Your Diabetes Risk

There are no lifestyle changes that can lower your risk of type 1 diabetes. But type 2 diabetes is often linked to being overweight. That means there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing it.  Around 90% of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. If you maintain a healthy weight, you can reduce your risk of developing the condition.

If you think that you may already have symptoms of diabetes, see your GP.


Diabetes and Your Weight

If you are overweight or obese, you’re at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. You can find out if you’re a healthy weight by knowing your ideal weight from healthy weight calculator or you can calculate your BMI here.

For most people, if your BMI is 25 or above, you are in the overweight range, while a BMI of 30 or above puts you in the obese range.

Your Waist and Diabetes Risk

BMI isn’t the only important measurement when it comes to your diabetes risk. Your waistline may also indicate that you’re carrying extra body fat, and are therefore at risk.

All women have an increased risk of diabetes if their waist measures more than 80cm (31.5 inches). 


White or black men have an increased risk if their waist measures more than 94cm (37 inches).

Asian men have an increased risk if their waist measures more than 90cm (35 inches).

The Healthy Way to Lose Weight

A healthy diet and physical activity are the key to a healthy weight, but that doesn’t have to mean going on a strict diet and spending hours at the gym. Simply begin eating more nutritious foods and get a little more physical activity (if you aren’t physically active now) and your body will come to its natural healthy weight.

Read: Lose Weight The Healthy Way for more information


Causes of diabetes you can’t control

A number of other risk factors can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, most of which can’t be controlled.

These include:

  • being over 40, or over 25 if you’re black or south Asian
  • having a close family member (parent, brother or sister) who has type 2 diabetes
  • being south Asian or African-Caribbean; these ethnic groups are five times more likely to get type 2 diabetes
  • having polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), especially if you’re also overweight
  • having had gestational diabetes (diabetes that lasts for the duration of a pregnancy)
  • having impaired fasting glycaemia or impaired glucose tolerance, sometimes referred to as pre-diabetes
  • If you have any of these risk factors, you should maintain a healthy weight to ensure that your risk of diabetes doesn’t increase further.

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