I am especially attentive to the results of this study, both professionally and personally. In my professional life, I know that a good diagnostician must avoid the hasty mistake of profiling—it is too easy to neglect the consideration of prediabetes and heart disease risk for the lean patient compared to the attention given to the more overweight individual. Personally too, I inherited the tendency toward becoming the thin diabetic. In my forties, as a lean jogger with prediabetic blood sugar and HgbA1C results on my Blood Code, I had to face that my diet and regular jog was not adequate for my overall and long-term health. The conclusion of this elegant study was clear: Fitness Trumps Fatness.[i]
The results of this study are not new to researchers and those who follow obesity studies. Obesity does not, I repeat not, cause type 2 diabetes. I can show you people who are shorter than I am and double the weight, yet they have substantially lower blood sugars and HgbA1c than I. This is not an injustice, don’t get me wrong, but I must realize, that if my blood sugars are high, the risk of heart disease is high, in fact higher than you might imagine.
A prior study displayed that thin individuals who develop diabetes are twice as likely to die, mostly from heart disease, than people that were overweight or obese at the time of their type 2 diabetes diagnosis. This is big news. Obese people are, in fact, more likely to express type 2 diabetes, but for this people prone to type 2 diabetes, it is more deadly. The researcher concluded, “Doctors’ concern about normal weight people with diabetes should potentially be even higher than that of their counterparts who develop diabetes at a heavier weight.”[ii]
Blood test results, not what weight you think you should be, provide the objective metric to steer your nutritional and fitness habits to truly lower the risk of heart disease over the long haul.
Dr. Richard Maurer is a licensed naturopathic physician who, after practicing in a primary care setting for twenty years, now provides a unique perspective on metabolic health and recovery. Dr. Maurer puts you in the driver’s seat of your health and wellness, helping you decode blood test results to find the diet and fitness habits that reverse and prevent metabolic conditions, such as pre and type 2 diabetes, weight gain and hypothyroid problems. His recent book, The Blood Code: Unlock the secrets of your metabolism , provides the tools to understand and act on key blood tests and skin fold measurements to define your personalized diet, fitnessand nutritional needs to recover health and vitality—disease reversal is only the beginning.
His personal and familial trend toward type 2 diabetes motivates him to empower people to recover their metabolic “sweet spot” through proven self-guided diet, nutritional, and fitness habits.
Dr. Maurer is the past president of the Maine Association of Naturopathic Doctors and regularly presents at health and medical conferences such as Weston Price Foundation, American Association of Naturopathic Physicians and the popular PaleoF(x). He lives in Maine with his wife Alexandra where they have raised three children.
[i] McAuley PA, et al. Fitness, Fatness, and Survival in Adults With Prediabetes. Diabetes Care. 2014;37(2):529-536.
[ii] Carnethon MR, et al. Association of weight status with mortality in adults with incident diabetes. JAMA. 2012 Aug 8;308(6):581-590.