Weight Woes in Diabetes
with diabetes are encouraged to take control of
their health and to make lifestyle changes, now.
Specialist diabetes conducted a survey amongst its
diabetes patients to determine their level of
understanding of the disease.
Diabetes remains one of the greatest health
challenges today, and its incidence is on an upward
With one in seven adults having diabetes, it is
crucial to create better understanding about this
In response to this worrying trend, the survey was
initiated to gain better insights on the management
of the disease, with the purpose of helping diabetes
patients control the disease more effectively.
The survey was conducted amongst diabetes patients
from the hospital over a period of two months. The
specialist diabetes from clinic treats 100 patients
with type 1 diabetes and 1,200 patients with type 2
diabetes on a monthly basis.
Diabetes patients were polled, and in most cases, it
was done with face-to-face interviews.
Diabetes prevalence in world has almost doubled in
the last decade in parallel with the doubling of
overweight/obesity amongst the population. Through
this survey, we hope to find out more about the
knowledge level amongst our diabetes patients, and
stressing to them the importance of weight
management in controlling diabetes.
Patients with diabetes are at increased risk for
complications involving the eye, heart, kidney and
various other organs. Associated risk factors that
can further increase the risk of complications among
diabetics include excess body weight, high blood
pressure, and high cholesterol levels, amongst
Being overweight or obese can hasten the onset of
The survey results showed that 62% of participants
were overweight when first diagnosed with diabetes.
While over 85% of participants polled understood
that weight loss was helpful in managing type 2
diabetes, only 31% of participants have been
successful in managing their weight.
In addition, over 70% of participants consider being
overweight as a contributing factor to developing
type 2 diabetes, and nearly 60% were dissatisfied
about their current weight.
Diabetes cases are predominantly type 2 diabetes.
According to the third National Health and Morbidity
Survey 2006, there was a 41% increase in the
prevalence of individuals with abdominal obesity.
One key finding that able to conclude was that 75%
of the participants polled snacked to prevent
Hypoglycemia associated with current medications can
lead to increased snacking and are deterring
diabetes patients from controlling their weight
The majority is aware of the importance of weight
and maintaining a healthy lifestyle in managing
their diabetes, but a high percentage of them are
still unsuccessful in controlling their blood sugar
levels and weight to an optimum level.
The age group with the highest prevalence of
diabetes is those between 60 and 64 years old,
although there is a sharp increase in the prevalence
of diabetes among those aged 30 and above as
revealed in the third National Health and Morbidity
With two in five obese or overweight, the
association between obesity and diabetes is one that
should be highlighted more aggressively to encourage
Malaysians to maintain an active and balanced
A strong genetic predisposition to diabetes should
also encourage a healthier lifestyle and preventive
action to keep this disease at bay.
The World Health Organization has estimated that in
the year 2030, Malaysia would have a total of 2.48
million people with diabetes.
In conclusion to the survey, it is evident that a
majority of obese or overweight people struggle to
reduce their weight and control their diabetes, but
with proper counseling and lifestyle intervention,
these may be overcome.
Some newer medications that reduce blood sugar and
weight may be the answer to helping patients manage
their diabetes and weight more effectively.