Type 2 diabetes usually starts as insulin resistance. Cells stop responding properly to insulin and sugar is unable to get from the blood into the cells. Over time, the pancreas cannot make enough insulin to keep blood sugars in the normal range and the body becomes progressively less able to regulate blood sugar.
In Europe, it is estimated that there are 59.8 million people with diabetes. This number is expected to increase up to 71.1 million by 2040[i].
Diabetes and obesity
People with obesity are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Among those who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, 67 percent have a BMI greater than 27 and 46 percent have a BMI greater than 30.
Fat around the abdomen particularly increases the risk. This is because it releases chemicals that can upset the body’s cardiovascular and metabolic systems. Therefore, waist measuring is a quick way of assessing diabetes risk[ii].
Complications of type 2 diabetes
Diabetes can cause serious long-term health problems. It’s the most common cause of vision loss and blindness in people of working age. It is also responsible for most cases of kidney failure and lower limb amputation, other than accidents.
People with diabetes are up to five times more likely to suffer from the effects of cardiovascular disease, such as a stroke, than those without diabetes.[iii]
For more information on Type 2 diabetes please contact the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) and Diapedia.