As the weather gets colder, more people begin to stay indoors. Many people who stay indoors tend to become less active and overeat. But taking on a less active lifestyle this winter may lead to more than just some winter weight.
The number of type-2 diabetics in Oklahoma is staggering, and for people in the 30s, the figures are fast-growing. About 76 percent of all diabetics get diagnosed in their 30s. The good news is lifestyle choices can really make a difference.
"You can reverse it by changing lifestyle, get leaner and more exercise," said Dr. John Muchmore from the Integris Baptist Medical Center.
Ladies' Home Journal devoted a five-page spread to inform woman about the risks. One of the major risk factors outlined in the article is being overweight.
Just a moderate weight gain of 11 to 17 pounds after the age of 18 doubles the chances of developing type-2 diabetes. Having a body mass index greater than 30 or carrying fat mostly in the belly rather than hips or thighs, also puts you at risk.
A sedentary lifestyle is a big contributor to type-two diabetes, even if you're thin. Depression can lead to a sedentary lifestyle and overall inactivity, which raises the chances of developing late-onset diabetes by 50 percent. Genetics play a major role as well. About 6 percent of all Americans have diabetes, but the rate doubles in African Americans, Latino ethnicities and Native Americans.
"You're not going to change your genetics. You're not going to change the fact that if you stay pretty active until you're 84 and then become more sedentary, you'll probably have sugar issues," said Dr. Muchmore.
And here's the catch, many people don't have many symptoms until they actually get diabetes. The way to keep yourself in check is to check your fasting blood sugar (your blood sugar count after not drinking or eating for a certain period of time) and insulin levels.
Originally aired: 11-12-07