The connection between obesity and type 2 diabetes is well known, leading health professionals to believe a rise in incidence of the former would positively correlate with the number of diabetes diagnoses. However, despite climbing obesity rates, the number of new cases of diabetes in U.S. adults continues to decline – a paradox confusing health officials. According to new federal data released in May of this year, 1.3 million new diabetes diagnoses were made in 2017, compared to 1.7 million in 2009.
In the past decade, the “obesity paradox” theory – which suggests an inverse association between BMI and cardiovascular outcome risk – has been a highly contested subject within the medical community. Type 1 diabetes is a well-established risk factor for cardiovascular disease, heart failure, and mortality, but it may prove especially detrimental in overweight and obese adults. Recent studies aim to dispel the “obesity paradox” by targeting insulin resistance in overweight or obese patients with type 1 diabetes and its relation to increased risks for vascular complications.