Some people think that simply eating too much sugar is the main risk factor for developing Type 2 diabetes, but it’s more complicated than that. There are many lifestyle (as well as genetic) factors that can lead to a person developing diabetes later in life.
Meanwhile, Type 1 diabetes – formerly known as juvenile diabetes because it’s usually present from a young age – carries its own set of risk factors that aren’t tied to lifestyle. Let’s take a look at seven risk factors for both types, in recognition of National Diabetes Awareness Month in November…
1. Being Overweight or Obese
This is a major factor when it comes to predicting whether you’ll develop Type 2 diabetes. Of course, being overweight can itself be caused by a number of reasons – from poor diet to lack of activity.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases actually breaks down diabetes risk based on body mass index charts. Risk factor changes depending on your ethnicity; for example, Asian Americans are at higher diabetes risk if they have a BMI greater than 23, Pacific Islanders have a threshold of 26, and all other backgrounds have the bar set at a BMI of 25.