Obese At Eighteen? Toss a Coin to See If You’ll Get Diabetes

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Obese eighteen-year-old boys with a body mass index between thirtyand 35 have a one in two chance of developing diabetes later inlife. The odds are even a bit worse for obese young women. Thesewere the dismal findings of a study just published in Diabetes Careusing data from the National Health Interview Survey of 780,694people between 1997 and 2004.

The weightier the kids, the worse the picture gets. If theyoungsters' BMI is higher than 35, their odds of future diabetesjump to over seventy percent. And even if they're not quite obese,only overweight, with a body mass index between 25 and thirty, thechance of later diabetes is between 29 and 35 percent. Forunderweight eighteen-year-olds, on the other hand, the lifetime riskdrops to only 7.6 to 12.2 percent.

At birth, a person's chance of eventually getting diabetes is adaunting one in three. But this research shows that those odds swellor shrink significantly depending on how much you weigh by the timeyou're eighteen. The findings are particularly dismaying becauseoverweight young people will probably develop diabetes at a youngerage, making them prey to earlier complications like heart diseaseand kidney failure.

Such youngsters would be wise to talk to their doctor about howthey might be able to shed some pounds – even a smallish loss willlower their risk.

Sources: Diabetes Care
Reuters

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