Harvard Women's Health Watch

Why controlling your weight lowers your risk of diabetes

Inflammation is an important link between obesity, elevated blood sugar, and type 2 diabetes.

weight scale managing weight lowers risk diabetes
Weight loss can reduce inflammation—a major contributor to diabetes.
Image: tetmc/Thinkstock

We've known for a long time that being overweight is a major risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. But only in the last 20 years have researchers determined that metabolism and immune responses are linked and that chronic inflammation plays an important role in the development of obesity, diabetes, and related metabolic diseases. "Inflammation is not only associated with obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, but also precedes and predicts these conditions," says Dr. Allison Goldfine, head of the Clinical Research section at Harvard-affiliated Joslin Diabetes Center.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »