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Obese eighteen-year-old boys with a body mass index between thirty and 35 have a one in two chance of developing diabetes later in life. The odds are even a bit worse for obese young women. These were the dismal findings of a study just published in Diabetes Care using data from the National Health Interview Survey of 780,694 people between 1997 and 2004.
The weightier the kids, the worse the picture gets. If the youngsters' BMI is higher than 35, their odds of future diabetes jump to over seventy percent. And even if they're not quite obese, only overweight, with a body mass index between 25 and thirty, the chance of later diabetes is between 29 and 35 percent. For underweight eighteen-year-olds, on the other hand, the lifetime risk drops to only 7.6 to 12.2 percent.
At birth, a person's chance of eventually getting diabetes is a daunting one in three. But this research shows that those odds swell or shrink significantly depending on how much you weigh by the time you're eighteen. The findings are particularly dismaying because overweight young people will probably develop diabetes at a younger age, making them prey to earlier complications like heart disease and kidney failure.
Such youngsters would be wise to talk to their doctor about how they might be able to shed some pounds - even a smallish loss will lower their risk.
Sources: Diabetes Care
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