Obesity And Insulin Resistance

Obesity is the most common condition associated with insulin resistance (13). Obesity is a health problem reaching epidemic proportions in Western countries. In the UK alone some 16% of men and 18% of women are obese (14). Obesity can be defined as a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30kg/m2. Insulin resistance is frequently observed in obese subjects and constitutes an independent risk factor for the development of Type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis. The importance of increasing visceral fat (measured by waist:hip ratio) as a risk factor for insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease has also been demonstrated (15).

Weight loss improves insulin sensitivity and any type of therapy, whether it is dietary or pharmacological, that can aid effective weight loss and/or weight maintenance will help prevent some of the deleterious metabolic changes associated with insulin resistance.

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