Being overweight or obese are very prevalent risk factors for diabetes. How do you know if you’re overweight or obese? These terms are determined by your body mass index (BMI), which is a calculated number based on your height and weight. A BMI of 25-29.9 (kg/m2) is considered “overweight.” A BMI of 30 or greater is known as “obese.” These are both considered risk factors for diabetes. See the BMI chart below to determine if your weight puts you at increased risk for diabetes. Other risk factors include: being over the age of 45, having a family history of diabetes, lack of physical activity, high blood pressure and having an abnormal lipid panel. Thankfully, most of these risk factors are modifiable!
The recommendations for physical activity are 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week, plus 2 days of resistance or strength training. Moderate-intensity activity means getting your heart rate up. You’re getting moderate activity if you can talk but can’t sing while doing an activity. Increasing your muscle mass can also help moderate your blood sugar.
The general recommendation for sodium intake is no more than 2,400 mg of sodium daily. This recommendation is even lower if you already have high blood pressure. On average, Americans eat 3,600 mg of sodium per day, so we have quite a bit of room for improvement! Sodium is listed on the nutrition facts label of our foods, so next time you are shopping, compare the sodium content of foods.
Having an abnormal lipid panel also puts you at risk of developing diabetes. This panel is typically tested by blood work from your doctor. Your lipid panel includes serum triglycerides, LDL cholesterol (“bad cholesterol”), HDL cholesterol (“good cholesterol”) and total cholesterol.
If you are currently overweight or obese, there are many potential approaches to weight loss. There is no one diet that is optimal for all individuals. Diets should be individualized to specific food preferences and preferred approaches. Limiting calorie-dense foods, reducing overall portion sizes, or following a structured meal plan are just a few examples of how to lose excess weight.
Have you been diagnosed with diabetes already? The Villages Health has the only American Diabetes Association accredited program in the region, and provides quality support, management, training and education for individuals with diabetes. The program is provided in 10 hours over the first year of education, including an individual needs assessment followed by 4 two-hour group classes. An additional 3 hours of one-on-one medical nutrition therapy is provided within the initial year, followed by 2 hours every year thereafter. Our team of Certified Diabetes Educators and Registered Licensed Dietitians are eager to be a part of your quality health care team, helping you stay well and appropriately manage your diabetes.
We are also proud to offer the Diabetes Prevention Program for individuals at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The Villages Health is one of only four organizations in Florida to have received full recognition status by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention for this program. This year-long series is provided at all of The Villages Health primary care centers in a group setting and has proven efficacy to support and sustain weight loss, while reducing the risk for the development of type 2 diabetes.
If you are interested in participating in any of our programs, please call 352-674-1770.