Regardless of Weight, Being Unfit Ups Risk for Type 2 Diabetes

Teens who lack aerobic capacity and muscle strength - regardless of their weight - are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, a new study reveals.

Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai found that even teens with a normal body mass index had a higher risk for diabetes if they weren't physically fit.

“This study showed that fitness traits were important for the prediction of future diabetes at any body weight so it should not be ignored,” said Peter T. Katzmarzyk of Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in an accompanying editorial.

Three times the risk

Following young men who were military conscripts in Sweden between 1969 and 1997, the researchers found that those who were least fit were three times more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than those with better strength and aerobic fitness.

Half of the men in the study were diagnosed with diabetes after the age of 46, suggesting that while fitness may seem unimportant earlier in life, it could play a role in the development of diabetes in adulthood.

“More studies will be needed that measure physical fitness as well as diet and BMI at other time points across the lifespan to examine age windows of susceptibility to these factors in relation to diabetes,” said lead study author Dr. Casey Crump.

The study is published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Source: Reuters

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