Weight Management for Patients with Diabetes

Why is it important?

  • Obesity is one of the reasons for Type 2 Diabetes, leading to insulin resistance, as well as being associated with many other health problems
  • 90% of Newly Diagnosed Type 2 Diabetes are above their ideal weight
  • Weight loss in these cases is key to improving blood sugar control and reducing the need for medications, which will lead to a reduction in long term morbidity and mortality

What is my ideal weight?

  • We measure obesity by looking at the person’s Body Mass Index (BMI— combines height and weight) as well as waist circumference
  • A healthy BMI is 25kg/m2 or less (or <23kg/m2 for people of Asian, African or African Caribbean origin)
  • ‘Overweight’ is classed as a BMI 25-29.9kg/m2 and ‘Obese’ is classed as >30kg/m2
  • A healthy waist circumference is <80cm (31.5 inches) for all women, <94cm (37 inches) for white or black men and <90cm (35 inches) for Asian men

What rate of weight loss should I aim for?

  • Aim for a maximum weekly weight loss of 0.5-1kg after the first 3 weeks of losing weight
  • Set an initial weight loss target of 5-10%

How can I achieve this?

  • Initially by a combination of diet and exercise. If these fail to work, medication or surgery may be considered. If blood sugars are poorly controlled despite lifestyle modifications, anti-diabetes medication or insulin may be required to manage your diabetes
  • Diet—reduce intake of alcohol, sweet and fatty foods (particularly those high in saturated and trans-fatty acids). Reduce portion sizes except fruit or vegetables. Encourage regular meals. Use high fibre, low glycaemic index sources of carbohydrates. Include low fat dairy products and oily fish. Avoid ‘diabetic’ foods. For more information visit NHS choices: www.nhs.uk/livewell/healthy-eating/Pages/Healthyeating.aspx or  Swindon diabetes website (www.swindondiabetes.co.uk/support/helpful-diet-information/)

 

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