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How Is Diabesity Gradually Becoming The New Epidemic? Explains Dr Singal

Although not everyone with obesity may be prone to diabetes, the risk is significantly higher in people with higher body weight.

Besides family history, obesity is one of the significant risk factors for type 2 diabetes. A recently conducted risk factor survey amongst 1700 people for prediabetes and diabetes by Fitterfly showed that obesity itself increases the risk of diabetes by more than five times and after age 40, along with family history by more than 40 times. Dr Arbinder Singal, Co-founder of Fitterfly, shares studies from India have shown that the risk of diabetes increases exponentially with each BMI centile after 23.

Type 2 Diabetes And BMI

Besides increasing the risk, another recent report by Fitterfly covering 3000 people with type 2 diabetes showed that more than 58% of people with type 2 diabetes had a BMI of more than 25 and 31% had a BMI of more than 30. It is essential to be aware that obesity and diabetes are giving way to a new diabesity epidemic a double-edged sword. It refers to the combined effects of diabetes and obesity on health.

Excess Weight

In people who are overweight, excess abdominal fat can affect insulin sensitivity, leading to insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes. Excess weight also causes fat accumulation in the liver, preventing the latter from storing the excess glucose in the bloodstream, leading to diabetes over time. All this underscores the importance of simultaneously managing body weight and blood sugar levels.

Metabolic Health Conditions

Lifestyle therapy remains the first-line therapy for metabolic health conditions driven wherever weight loss is beneficial. It is possible to reverse diabetes, obesity, or diabesity (the combination of both) through a personalized management plan including diet, exercise, stress & sleep management, and medication. This is where digital therapeutics (DTx) is emerging as the game-changer today. The DTx approach revolves around prevention, control, and remission.

Personalised Glycemic Response

DTx platforms allow understanding of stress, sleep, the impact of various foods on blood sugars, and tracking vital data for wellbeing. Recent research shows that every person has a different glycemic response to the same foods; this phenomenon is known as a Personalised Glycemic Response. Based on PGR, the diet and exercise plans can be personalized according to the individual leading to better outcomes.

Diabesity In Indians

With millions of people in India having diabesity, technology-led behaviour change and lifestyle intervention can help India reverse the tide of metabolic crisis. Among all the non-communicable diseases, the incidence of diabetes is increasing worldwide. As per estimates, the number of people with this condition is expected to reach 134 million by 2045.


Apart from timely diagnosis and management of the disease, awareness about its symptoms, risk factors, and other aspects is needed. In this asymptomatic condition, one might feel healthy, but silently, the disease negatively impacts organs and a person’s overall well-being. Although not everyone with obesity may be prone to diabetes, the risk is significantly higher in people with higher body weight.

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