Top 10 Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes

There is growing concern over diabetes in the United States. In 2015, over 30 million Americans had diabetes, and about 29 million of those had type 2. Some people with diabetes were undiagnosed and unaware of their condition, and about 84 million had prediabetes.

It’s concerning.

But there’s a lot of white noise when it comes to our health. A simple internet search can diagnose you with anything from a cold to cancer, and it feels like we’re always hearing about something new that either causes disease or cures it. The truth for diabetes though, is that type 2 risk factors are well-established. We researched well-respected health organizations and diabetes authorities and found the risk factors for type 2 that showed up most consistently. Here are, in no particular order, the top 10:

Photo: AdobeStock/Ocskay Mark
Photo: AdobeStock/Ocskay Mark

1. Family History

If a parent or sibling has diabetes, you are at greater risk. Both genetics and bad family habits (such as poor diets or being inactive) can increase risk.

Photo: AdobeStock/Olesia Bilkei
Photo: AdobeStock/Olesia Bilkei

2. Weight and Fat Distribution

Being overweight is the top risk factor for type 2. Insulin resistance increases along with the amount of fat a person carries, but losing 10 to 15 pounds can make a significant difference.

Where you carry fat also comes into play. People 2ho carry their fat stores mostly in their belly area are at an increased risk. Abdominal or visceral fat secretes proteins that cause inflammation and compromise insulin sensitivity.

Photo: AdobeStock/Saltodemata
Photo: AdobeStock/Saltodemata

“NEXT” for more risk factors

Katie Taylor

Katie Taylor started writing in 5th grade and hasn't stopped since. Her favorite place to pen a phrase is in front of her fireplace with a cup of tea, but she's been known to write in parking lots on the backs of old receipts if necessary. She and her husband live cozily in the Pacific Northwest enjoying rainy days and Netflix.

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