Obesity and Diabetes Research


Since the discovery of diabetes and obesity, different people have conducted various studies to determine the causes, prevention and management strategies. Most of these discoveries are important in the management of the diseases as they provide the public with information that could lead to avoidance or preventions measures. It has been determined that over 33% of the whole US population are obese and more are expected to be diagnosed with the condition (Christina et al, 2008). The current tend where young people are diagnosed with these conditions should raise alarm, since it was traditionally known that the conditions are only experienced in people above the age of 40 years. Today, the American minority races are getting vulnerable and prone to the diseases. Obesity is believed to be the initial stages of diabetes if proper management is not done (Christina et al, 2008). These two diseases are therefore highly related and avoidance of obesity indirectly translates to the avoidance of diabetes. Some of the important positive results and conclusions in research for the two diseases are discussed below.

Behavior and Diabetes

Wing et al (2001) and Astrup ( n.d) determined that lifestyle is a key factor that leads to the development of obesity and eventual diabetes. Lifestyle majorly involves aspects, physical activity, and eating behavior. Some of the management strategies for people with obesity is crafted from these two main behavioral aspects. They are used to ensure that obesity does not develop into diabetes and tries to provide a possibility for the existing obesity to be diminished or even done away with (Wing et al, 2001).

First, the studies used for this report have determined that the environmental factors that are related to obesity as well as overeating and lack of or little physical activity. It has been determined that physical environment plays a large part of development of obesity and eventual diabetes. First, the American environment allows people to easily access energy foods without walking for long distances. Then, the television industry has been highly popularized and everyone can easily access a TV set (Astrup,  n.d). Therefore, there are fewer and fewer people that are going out to seek for physical activity. Further, the general environment can lead to a difference in the risk of one contracting the conditions. For instance, it has been determined that there is  higher risk for Pima Indians living in the United States and those living in their native land, under similar conditions. The Mexican Pimas are less prone to get the conditions despite eating food similar to those in the US as well as living in a sedentary lifestyle as those in the United States (Wing et al, 2001).  It has also been determined that food from different places contain different amounts of fat and eventually lead to the reduction of risk of disease.

It has also been determined that there is a hormone that connects diabetes to obesity (Thomas, 2001). Therefore, obese people can be correctly advised to take the necessary measures before the condition develops into diabetes. Further, some studies have shown that the risk of a child developing the two conditions can be determined at birth (ProQuest, 2012).

Missing Research

The level of contribution done by the environment is not well defined (Wing, 2001). Many people live in the same environment and engage in near-similar activities, yet one can be diagnosed with any of the condition and the other remains healthy. The food available to these people is similar, but there are a few aspects that are different, which lead to the difference in the vulnerability of the people to the  conditions.

More research should be done to determine whether genetic composition could be another factor that has led to the increase in cases of obesity and diabetes (ProQuest, 2012). Some studies have shown that some races are more prone to be diagnosed with the conditions than others (Astrup,  n.d). This could be narrowed down to determine the causes of this disparity on the  people. The minority groups are more prone than the majority group in the US. The relationship could be attributed to decent or pedigree, yet there is less research to explain the trend.

The intervention of the clinical workers on lifestyle is still low. The health workers cannot have a very concrete advice on the quality and intensity of exercise. Though they recommend general and light exercise per day, they do not on the other hand define the extent to which this could be done. At the same time, there is little research that has been done to determine the factors that have led to the increasing rate of the conditions at a very young age. It could be assumed that there is a major change in the disease because in the past, it was only common in people beyond the age of 40 years. To date, and with this knowledge, there has not been a clear explanation as to why the trends are changing. Though there are changes in lifestyle, this does not make much sense when obesity or even diabetes detected in a child below ten years.

There is less knowledge that has been sought to determine the levels of food intake that can cause harm to the people prone to diabetes. Though most studies have shown that there are many issues that are related to eating and physical exercise, little has been done to correlate the two. This means that there is no clear cut advice that a health worker can provide to the people with regard to the relativity between the number of calories and their physical activity. This is so, despite the measures that provide that any food that is packaged should be labeled on the amount of different nutrients that it contains. More of this should be done so that there is a clear line as to the eating guidelines.

Significance of Conducting the Missing Research and the Target People

 The determination of the above questions that are yet to be addressed through research would be important in the determination of the best and specific management and prevention skills of the disease. For instance, the environmental impact could be used to determine whether some people can be controlled before they settle in certain parts of the US and other parts of the world. This is important because some cases have been reported in certain geographical locations, to specific people than in other areas.

Secondly, the foods that are mostly accused of causing the conditions are the most available to the population. The levels at which they are consumed determines whether one risks getting the condition or does not. In this case, the policy makers may decide to check the food contents in the said ‘junk food’ to reduce the number of outlets in certain areas that are considered prone. At the same time, their establishment can be regulated so that they are located at places where consumers would be required to walk for certain distances in order to burn some calories in the process.

Thirdly, health workers are able to determine the best advice they can offer to people who are prone to the conditions if they had knowledge on the relative exercise and food consumption. In this case, the prescriptions would be accurate and highly relevant.

These proposed studies would therefore be addressed towards the general population, policy makers and the health workers whose work is to provide advice and prescriptions.

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