Reuters AlertNet - Overweight urged to slim down to cut diabetes risk: "LONDON, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Half the world's diabetes cases could be eliminated by curbing the soaring number of people who are overweight, health experts said on Tuesday.
Diabetes already affects 194 million people and the number is expected to rise to 333 million by 2025. But even a moderate weight loss can delay onset of the illness.
'Fifty percent of type 2 diabetes is potentially preventable by stopping excessive weight gain and obesity,' said Professor Martin Silink, president-elect of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF).
'A modest weight loss of 5-10 percent can result in major reductions in the risk of diabetes,' he told a teleconference ahead of World Diabetes Day on November 14.
Diabetes is a chronic illness caused by a deficiency or lack of insulin. The hormone produced by the pancreas helps the glucose, or sugar, from food get into cells.
If a person does not produce enough insulin or if it isn't used properly by the body, glucose stays in the blood.
People with Type 1 diabetes do not produce any insulin and need daily injections. Type 2 diabetes, the most common type of the disease, is caused by an inability to make enough, or to properly use insulin.
About 90 percent of sufferers have type 2 diabetes, which is linked to being overweight or obese."
By Patricia Reaney