Fed up being told of the dangers of being fat? We all know it by now – if you’re overweight, you could be seriously harming your health. Well here’s some refreshing news – a new study from the Nutrition Journal has revealed that it’s not just obese people that are putting themselves at risk of Diabetes… but also the underweight…
Fifty years ago, Diabetes was pretty uncommon. Now that we’ve all settled into fine Western living – TVs, fast-food and automobiles to meet our transportation needs – we’re all apparently getting fatter – and with it rates of Diabetes have been soaring. Shockingly, nearly 1 in 10 American adults now have type 2 Diabetes – a condition that a healthier lifestyle could prevent.
A new study from the University of Luebeck in Germany has shown evidence that flies in the face our previously accepted ideas about Diabetes. Three groups of fit and healthy young adult men were tested to find out if any of them had the early hallmarks of Diabetes: ‘Obese’, ‘Normal weight’ and ‘Underweight’ men were admitted to a clinic where they underwent a “glucose clamp” procedure. This procedure uses lots of needles and intravenous fluid bags – but it is the most sensitive test to gauge whether someone is starting to develop Diabetes. By carefully controlling sugar and insulin levels in these subjects, the German team were able to measure each suject’s ‘glucose tolerance’.
As expected, the obese group had ‘impaired glucose tolerance’ – showing that they were probably on course for a life with type 2 Diabetes a few years down the line. What was more surprising was that the underweight men showed the same results! It seemed that both overweight and underweight groups were showing the signs of heading for a life of carb counting, Diabetes tablets and blood sugar tests.
So while the Government make futile public health promotions to try to curb our appetite for cake and chocolate, this new research shows that there is another way of living we should avoid – being uber-skinny. The researchers concluded that a normal BMI of 20-25 was optimal for reducing your risk of health problems.
So, yes you have read that correctly - being a ‘normal weight’ is actually good for you (Shock- horror)! Sometimes science is great for reminding us of the common sense we were in danger of losing…
Thanks for reading – comments and feedback are warmly welcomed!
Read more about type 2 Diabetes
Find out what your BMI is and why it might matter
Jauch-Chara K, Schmoller A, & Oltmanns KM (2011). Impaired glucose tolerance in healthy men with low body weight. Nutrition journal, 10 (1) PMID: 21299854