Reviewed by Laura Martin on June 21, 2011

Sources

James Rippe, MD. Assoc. Professor of Medicine Tufts University School of Medicine

© 2007 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved.

WebMD Archive

Video Transcript

Narrator: How can I lower my risk for diabetes?

James Rippe, MD: If you want to lower your risk of diabetes, it's critically important that you maintain a proper body weight. So if you're currently in the proper body weight, and that is a body mass index of less than 25, maintaining that is critically important. By the time you become obese, if you gain 30 pounds above a healthy body weight, you have increased you risk of diabetes 40 fold. You've increased your risk of diabetes 4,000 percent by the time you're obese. If we could eliminate obesity in our country, we could eliminate all, almost all, 85 percent of diabetes. So, maintaining a proper body weight is underestimated and very important in terms of lowering your risk of diabetes. If you already have diabetes, of course you're going to want to have a dialog with your own doctor, and we've got some great medicines, but regular exercise and weight management are critically important. And there are studies that have been published in the last several years that the loss of even 5 to 10 pounds in someone who is overweight or obese and they have diabetes, can often significantly lower their need for medicines or even get them off medicines. So if you have diabetes, work with your doctor, but understand that physical activity and weight loss are powerful in terms of lowering your need for medications.