Type 2 Diabetes – Obesity and Diabetic Retinopathy

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Diabetes is the leading cause of preventable blindness. One in three diabetic adults over the age of 40 has diabetic retinopathy, although it is not obvious until it begins to impair vision. Controlling blood sugar and blood pressure helps to prevent diabetic retinopathy.

Researchers at the Centre for Eye Research at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, set out to discover whether obesity and other measurements of body shape could also be associated with diabetic retinopathy. Their work was published in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science in April 2011.

Four hundred and ninety-two volunteers with Type 2 diabetes were included in the study. Obese participants were found to be more than 6.5 times more likely to have diabetic retinopathy than were those with normal weight. High neck and waist circumferences were also associated with the condition and those with high neck and waist circumferences tended to have more severe cases than those with normal neck and waist circumferences.

This news gives Type 2 diabetics more reason than ever to normalize their weight and keep it that way. A normal body mass index (BMI) is between 18.5 and 24.9. A BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight, and 30 or more is termed obese. To find your BMI go to the website: nhlbisupport.com/bmi and fill in your height and weight. If it is 25 or above, it is time to plan an eating plan and exercise program that will get rid of some of the body fat. Check with your doctor for a rational, realistic plan.

One pound of human fat contains 3500 calories, so to lose one pound you need to use 3500 more calories than you take in. Lowering your calorie intake along with exercise is the best way to do this…

bicycle riding less than ten miles per hour or performing water aerobics, uses up about 300 calories per hour, so riding or performing aerobics in the pool for about 12 hours would use up one pound of fat
taking in 300 calories per day fewer than usual would cause one pound of fat to come off in about 12 days
spending an hour a day performing moderate exercise and eating 300 calories fewer per day would take off two pounds in twelve days. Keeping up that program for four months would mean the loss of 20 pounds.

How to lower your calories?

try a vegetarian eating plan. It is known to be good for preventing and treating Type 2 diabetes, and it tends to be lower in calories than high-fat meat and dairy products
if there is a kind of food you can’t live without but it’s high in calories, try having smaller portions
you can stay on a reduced-calorie diet eating one cup of spaghetti once in awhile.

Consult a dietitian or look up the calories in all the foods you eat and control your portions. Weight loss is possible when you have a plan you know you will stick to.