What is the relationship between obesity and your patients’ type 2 diabetes?

Learn about the connection between this common comorbidity for your patients with obesity and how it can affect their health

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Obesity can increase the risk of prediabetes, which can lead to type 2 diabetes1

In patients with obesity and prediabetes



reduces the risk of developing diabetes2,3

70% of patients with prediabetes—an A1C from 5.7% to 6.4%—often go on to develop type 2 diabetes.4,5
In patients with type 2 diabetes, a higher BMI is associated with higher A1C (glycated hemoglobin) levels.6

What is a potential mechanism linking obesity to diabetes?

Obesity is associated with insulin resistance and decreased β-cell function, which can lead to the development of diabetes.7,8

Potential mechanism linking obesity to diabetes graphic

Evidence suggests that genetic risk factors may be necessary for the occurrence of β-cell dysfunction.8



Weight loss may prevent or delay progression to type 2 diabetes, with an average weight loss of 6.7% being shown to reduce the onset of diabetes by 58%.2,9

The American Diabetes Prevention Program (ADPP) was a trial of adults at high risk for development of type 2 diabetes (N=3,234) who were randomized to receive intensive lifestyle intervention, pharmacotherapy, or placebo.

Obesity is caused by a range of factors


Patients may be waiting for HCPs to take that important first step and discuss weight management



1. Miao Z, Alvarez M, Ko A, et al. The causal effect of obesity on prediabetes and insulin resistance reveals the important role of adipose tissue in insulin resistance. PLoS Genet. 2020;16(9):e1009018.

2. Ryan DH, Yockey SR. Weight loss and improvement in comorbidity: differences at 5%, 10%, 15% and over. Curr Obes Rep. 2017;6(2):187-194.

3. Garvey WT, Mechanick JI, Brett EM; and Reviewers of the AACE/ACE Obesity Clinical Practice Guidelines. American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and American College of Endocrinology comprehensive clinical practice guidelines for medical care of patients with obesity. Endocr Pract. 2016;22(suppl 3):1-203.

4. Riddle MC, et al. Classification and diagnosis of diabetes: standards of medical care in diabetes—2022. Diabetes Care. 2022;45:S17-S38.

5. Rett K, Gottwald-Hostalek U. Understanding prediabetes: definition, prevalence, burden and treatment options for an emerging disease. Curr Med Res Opin. 2019;35(9):1529-1534.

6. Boye KS, Lage MJ, Shinde S, Thieu V, Bae JP. Trends in HbA1c and body mass index among individuals with type 2 diabetes: evidence from a US database 2012–2019. Diabetes Ther. 2021;12(7):2077-2087.

7. Wondmkun YT. Obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes: associations and therapeutic implications. Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2020;13:3611-3616.

8. Al-Goblan AS, Al-Alfi MA, Khan MZ. Mechanism linking diabetes mellitus and obesity. Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2014;7:587-591.

9. Heymsfield SB, Wadden TA. Mechanisms, pathophysiology, and management of obesity. N Engl J Med. 2017;376(3):254-266.


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