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People Who Can't Fit Into Jeans They Wore At 21 At Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes, Expert Says

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People Who Can't Fit Into Jeans They Wore At 21 At Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes, Expert Says

People who can no longer fit into the jeans they wore when they were 21 years old are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a new study has suggested.

Commenting on the news, Dr Lucy Chambers, Head of Research Communications at Diabetes UK, said: "We welcome these early results from the ReTune study and eagerly look forward to the full results expected next year, which will advance our understanding of how internal body fat contributes to type 2 diabetes.

"We also look forward to working with the NHS to make sure this research informs the development of services and support for people with type 2 diabetes.

"It is hoped that these findings, if positive, could eventually widen access to the NHS programmes for type 2 remission."

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Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Professor Roy Taylor and Dr Ahmad Al-Mrabeh, from Newcastle University, gave a preview of the early findings from the research at this year's European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) conference.

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The ReTune study aimed to test whether type 2 remission is possible for people with lower body weights.

The findings showed that people who are of healthy weight and have type 2 diabetes can reverse the condition by losing between 10 and 15 percent of their body weight.

Taylor, of the university's Magnetic Resonance Centre, said the results, while preliminary, 'demonstrate very clearly that diabetes is not caused by obesity but by being too heavy for your own body', adding that people's waists should be the same size as it was when they were 21.

He said: "As a rule of thumb, your waist size should be the same now as when you were 21.

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"If you can't get into the same size trousers now, you are carrying too much fat and therefore at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, even if you aren't overweight."

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

The participants - who all had type 2 diabetes despite having a 'normal' body mass index (BMI) - followed a weight loss programme that saw them go onto a low-calorie diet for two weeks, consuming just 800 calories of foods like soups and shakes each day.

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With an average BMI of 24.5 among the group, eight of the 12 participants managed to reduce the levels of fat in the liver and pancreas.

The activity of the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas was also deemed to be 'restored'.

Taylor continued: "Doctors tend to assume that type 2 diabetes has a different cause in those who aren't overweight.

"This means that, unlike those who are overweight, those who are of normal weight aren't usually advised to lose weight before being given diabetes drugs and insulin.

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"Instead, there's a tendency to start them on insulin and other medication at a much earlier stage.

"What we've shown is that if those of normal weight lose 10-15 per cent of their weight, they have a very good chance of getting rid of their diabetes."

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash/@gitsela

Topics: Study, News, diabetes, UK, Health

Jess Hardiman
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