Diabetes and Obesity and Our Food Research Paper

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Obesity, Insulin Rejection, And Obesity: Contributing Factors

Obesity, insulin rejection, and diabetes are three of the most common health threats faced by million of people around the world. Research suggests that contrary to earlier-held scientific beliefs, these three conditions are largely influenced by genetic factors as well as environmental triggers. This is not to say that the individual bears no responsibility for good health and healthy behavior, but it shows that certain groups of people are more prone to these conditions than others. With this in mind, it is important to instill upon children the importance of life-long health and good diet. More and more, as obese and diabetic children grow older, they are contributing to the larger problem of adult obesity and diabetes. This correlation between children's diet and behavior and adult diet and behavior patterns is well documented. Certainly these kinds of information can help combat diseases that are spreading to all populations around the world at alarming rates.

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Diabetes is one of the most prevalent diseases in the United States and its global impact cannot be ignored. Besides diabetes, obesity also creates health risks for millions and costs taxpayers and insurance companies billions of dollars each year in hospital and health treatment bills. The two conditions, however, may be linked within brain functions, as glucose levels and metabolic rates are regulated by the same brain processes (Schwartz and Porte, 375). Researchers have been able to establish a clear link between them with the brain, stating, "Neuronal systems that regulate energy intake, energy expenditure, and endogenous glucose production sense and respond to input from hormonal and nutrient-related signals that convey information regarding both body energy stores and current energy availability.

Research Paper on Diabetes and Obesity and Our Food Assignment

In response to this input, adaptive changes occur that promote energy homeostasis and the maintenance of blood glucose levels in the normal range. Defects in this control system are implicated in the link between obesity and type 2 diabetes." (Schwartz and Porte, 376). To many people who suffer from one or both of these conditions, it is now quite clear that they both compliment each other within the human brain as well as chemically within the body. This does not allay fears that diabetics will one day become obese, or vice versa, but it does show a direct correlation between the two, this information can be used to help understand both conditions. These conditions have long been a part of society, but in recent years, they have run out of control as their prevalence has been documented to increase by many fold over the past three decades.

Since obesity has been on the rise for nearly three decades in the U.S. And for two around the world, type two diabetes and insulin rejection has also become more prevalent (Keller, 174). This suggests that as obesity is on the rise, so is diabetes. Most people have control over their levels of physical activity, and much research has shown that this activity is associated with lower levels of obesity and, consequentially, lower levels of diabetes within a given population. Relative to this argument, researcher Keller (2004) states, "However, the first step to avoid insulin resistance and prevent the development of diabetes should be a reduction in body weight in overweight subjects, and an increase in physical activity." Reduction of body weight involves taking control of the intake of calories within the body as well as making sure that adequate amounts of physical activity and sleep are achieved. Diet also plays an important role in the onset of obesity and diabetes, and should also be addressed with sincerity when trying to combat these two conditions.

The role of diet relative to diabetes and obesity cannot be denied. In fact, new research suggests that certain dietetic triggers exist within mammals that either turns on or shut of genetic and metabolic functions that can help cause diabetes and obesity (Bacquer, et. al., 388). Researchers using mice as research subjects have arrived to a similar conclusion, stating, "The most common pathology associated with obesity is insulin resistance, which results in the onset of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Several studies have implicated the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway in obesity." (Bacquer, et. al., 388). In this research, the chemical trigger known as rapamycin represents a method in which a subject's diet can trigger other results within the brain, eventually leading to insulin resistance and obesity. The presence of rapamycin is normal, but it can act against the health interests of the individual when it becomes a triggering mechanism for diabetes at the molecular level (Bacquer, et. al., 387). Here, a direct correlation between diet and diabetes has been measurable in mice as well as other mammals. While it is unclear whether this research would transfer over to humans or not, there are promising results directly associating diet with obesity and diabetes.

Besides diet and other environmental triggers, diabetes is also associated with genetic links within specific groups of people. This is to say that both genetic triggers and people's proneness to diabetes stem from genetic factors as well as factors under their control (Jhingan, 66). Author Ashok Jhingan writes, "Risks within certain groups is higher, especially genetically as diabetes triggers are passed down from generation to generation. People who have family members with the disease are far more likely to develop diabetes in their life time, and need to take certain precautions to help ensure a healthy diet and exercise are made priorities in their life." (Jhingan, 139). This shows that diabetes can be linked to certain genetic functions as well, and that some people are predisposed to diabetes and obesity, since both are environmentally and genetically controlled factors.

Researchers are beginning to understand how genetic predispositions for obesity as well as childhood obesity and early onset diabetes factor into the larger health equation. Many are finding that higher rates of childhood obesity are leading to higher and higher rates of adult obesity, which can be a trigger for diabetes and insulin rejection. Authors Barness, Opitz, and Gilbert-Barnes state, "Obesity has emerged as one of the most serious public health concerns in the 21st century. Obese children tend to become obese adults. The dramatic rise in pediatric obesity closely parallels the rapid increase in the prevalence of adult obesity. As overweight children become adults they face the multitude of health problems associated with obesity at younger ages. The morbidity and mortality associated with obesity continue to increase." (3020). This means that taking care of one's self starts at an early age, and that the dietetic behaviors and exercise patterns that children learn when they are young are directly related to their adult health. It is important to instill a sense of personal health responsibility among children, especially those at genetic risk for diabetes or insulin rejection.

Another key point that these authors bring to the surface is the fact that genetic factors play a large role in childhood obesity rates, stating, "Genetic and molecular and environmental factors play an important role in the assessment and management of obesity." (Barness, Opitz, and Gilbert-Barnes, 3022). This does not excuse children from being obese, and does not imply the condition is completely out of their control, but it shows that with the correct environmental triggers, obesity, insulin rejection, and diabetes can be avoided in nearly any population so long as their childhood habits of proper diet and exercise continue into adulthood. Childhood diabetes is one of the major predictors of adult health within the United States as well. As more and more cases of childhood diabetes come to light, the prognosis for the future health of American adults becomes more and more grim. If action is taken at the beginning of the cycle, as people are still in the childhood stages, it is much less likely… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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