HealthDay News — Changes in weight influence the risk of diabetes, with lower risk of diabetes for obese individuals who lose weight vs stable obesity, according to a study published online in Diabetes Care.

Andrew Stokes, PhD, from the Boston University School of Public Health, and colleagues categorized individuals into 4 weight-change groups from young adulthood to midlife: stable non-obese, losing (moved from obese to non-obese), gaining (moved from non-obese to obese), and stable obese.

Weight change was related to incident diabetes over 10 years of follow-up.

The researchers found that, compared to those with stable obesity, those who were obese and lost weight had a significantly lower risk of diabetes (hazard ratio [HR], 0.33). Lower risk was also seen for those who were stable non-obese (HR, 0.22) and those in the gaining category (HR, 0.70).

Compared with individuals who were stable non-obese, there was evidence of an increased incidence of diabetes among obese individuals who lost weight; weight loss was rare and the correlation was not statistically significant. During the 10-year period, an estimated 9.1% of observed diabetes cases could have been averted if those who were obese had become non-obese; 64.2% of cases could have been averted if the population had maintained a normal body mass index.

“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,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon (a Johnson & Johnson Company), which partially funded the study.

Related Articles


Stokes A, Collins JM, Grant BF, et al. Obesity progression between young adulthood and midlife and incident diabetes: a retrospective cohort study of US adults [published online March 5, 2018]. Diabetes Care. doi: 10.2337/dc17-2336