Causes of Diabetes (Type 2)
Type 2 diabetes is associated with obesity, excess caloric intake, poor diet, and a sedentary lifestyle. The results from the 2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey indicate that nearly one in three Americans are obese, with the average American roughly 23 pounds above his or her ideal body weight. Excess fat, especially around the midsection, interferes with the body's ability to use insulin effectively.
Americans are eating more calories than ever before, and many of the calories they consume are comprised of unhealthy foods. The average American male above the age of 18 needs about 2,300 calories per day, but most Americans eat well over that amount. Much of the excess calories they eat come from foods high in trans fasts, saturated fats, and sugar. Trans fats and saturated fats, interfere with the body's ability to use insulin.
At the 50th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention, the American Heart Association reported that sugary beverages, including soda and sports drinks, contributed to over 100,000 new cases of diabetes over the last decade. Nearly 52 percent of adolescent boys and 32 percent of adolescent girls are drinking at least 3 servings of soda a day by the age of 14.
Sedentary lifestyle is also a cause of type 2 diabetes. Nearly 60 percent of Americans do not get enough physical activity to obtain necessary health benefits. One of the obvious health benefits of adding physical activity into the daily routine is the maintenance of blood sugar levels in diabetics, and pre-diabetics.
People with family memebers that have type 2 diabetes may be predisposed to the condition as well. Every year, close to 80 percent of individuals diagnosed with diabetes have at least one family member that has the disease as well. Whether the disease has a genetic component, or whether unhealthy lifestyle factors are passed down, remains unclear.