adulthood workplace wellness

Reducing Weight in Young Adulthood May Reduce Diabetes Risk Later: Study

Helping employees manage chronic disease — and preparing individuals for healthy habits during young adulthood — is a significant goal of any well-run workplace wellness program. Diabetes is key among those areas.

We report frequently on raising awareness around diabetes. Just recently, we noted

A new study published by the American Diabetes Association that examines how the time of day one works may add to the risk: “Compared with day workers, all current night shift workers were at higher multivariable-adjusted odds for type 2 diabetes, except current permanent night shift workers. Considering a person’s lifetime work schedule and compared with never shift workers, working more night shifts per month was associated with higher type 2 diabetes odds; and >8/month. The association between genetic type 2 diabetes predisposition and type 2 diabetes odds was not modified by shift work exposure.”

A MedPage Today report on “Benefits of Yoga for Diabetes Control: Stress reduction, non-threatening fitness routine helps adherence.” The piece states: “Mounting evidence shows clear and demonstrable benefits of yoga for patients with diabetes, prediabetes, and related conditions. As that evidence grows, so, too, does the push for clinicians to encourage sometimes-skeptical patients to try the practice.”

Now a new MedPage Today post reports that “Young adulthood could be critical time to lose weight” as part of a plan to lower diabetes risk.

The results come from a new study published by the American Diabetes Association titled “Obesity Progression Between Young Adulthood and Midlife and Incident Diabetes: A Retrospective Cohort Study of U.S. Adults.”

It seeks to understand ” how changes in weight over the life course shape risk for diabetes is critical for the prevention of diabetes. Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), we investigated the association between self-reported weight change from young adulthood to midlife and incident diabetes.”

The results: “Those who were obese and lost weight exhibited a significantly lower risk of diabetes compared with those with stable obesity. We also observed lower risk among those who were stable nonobese and those in the gaining category. Further, there was evidence of an increased incidence of diabetes among obese individuals who lost weight compared with individuals who were stable nonobese; however, weight loss was rare, and the association was not statistically significant. If those who were obese had become nonobese during the 10-year period, we estimate that 9.1% of observed diabetes cases could have been averted, and if the population had maintained a normal BMI during the period, 64.2% of cases could have been averted.”

MedPage Today quotes the authors: “A large percentage of the observed diabetes cases could have been averted with effective intervention and prevention efforts in young adulthood.”

The study’s conclusion: “The findings from this study underscore the importance of population-level approaches to the prevention and treatment of obesity across the life course of individuals.”