You don't have to be overweight to develop type 2 diabetes, new study suggests

Medical advice holds that losing weight is the key to both preventing and combating type 2 diabetes, but a new study suggests the condition is influenced more by what you eat - not how much.

Diet is further compounded by genetic factors and the composition of your gut bacteria, the authors explained in The FASEB Journal.

Fast food and twins

For the study, researchers compared how a fast food meal influenced the circulating metabolites in genetically identical twins - one heavy and one lean. After the meal, the researchers noticed that metabolites related to type 2 diabetes were found in both twins at similar levels.

Independent of obesity, then, a genetic predisposition - combined with food choices - can greatly influence type 2 diabetes risk, the study concluded.

"When someone is overweight and at risk for diabetes, the conventional wisdom is to say 'lose weight,'" said Dr. Gerald Weissmann, Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal, "and to a degree that recommendation holds true. This report, however, shows that a calorie is not just a calorie as some would contend. Exactly what we eat and drink, and not just the number of calories, may be the most important factor in our health."

Source: Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

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