Blood sugar and weight loss

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An important link between obesity and diabetes is resistance to insulin, namely the decrease in insulin’s ability to allow the entry of glucose (sugar) into cells and to slow glucose production by the liver. This phenomenon is very common in obese people. However, one can be thin and resistant to insulin and, conversely, obese and sensitive to insulin.

In an overweight person, a gradual loss of 5 to 10% of the weight is sufficient to obtain health benefits:

Overweight and obesity: definition

Health professionals use certain indicators to determine health risks to individuals, including BMI (body mass index) and waist circumference. It is important to use several of these indicators to consider the distribution of body fat.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

BMI is the ratio of weight to height squared:

BMI = Weight (kg) / Height (m2)

It gives an indication of the risk of developing a disease chronic, including diabetes. It is used in individuals 18 years of age and older.

This indicator is to be taken with a grain of salt in athletes or people with strong muscles, in whom BMI may be overestimated.

If your BMI is…It could indicate…
18.4 and underunderweight
from 18.5 to 24.9a healthy weight*
from 25 to 29.9of overweight
of 30 and overobesity

*For people 65 years of age and over, the “healthy weight” range can range from a value slightly above 18.5 to a value within the “overweight” range.

Waist circumference

In addition to BMI, waist circumference measurement is used to assess the distribution of fat on the body. Abdominal fat is linked to health risks, such as heart disease and diabetes. This type of fat is more harmful because it surrounds the vital organs.

A decrease in waist circumference is more significant for improving health than a decrease in weight on the scale.

Waist measurements representing a high health risk

Countries of originManWoman
Canada, United States> or = 102 cm> or = 88 cm
Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East, Mediterranean> or = 94 cm> or = 80 cm
Asia, Japan, Central and South America> or = 90 cm> or = 80 cm

Source: Diabetes Canada 2018 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes in Canada.

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