Health Watch — The Obesity Epidemic: Getting Rid of Body Fat

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about the obesity epidemic in the United States. When it comes to insulin-resistant diabetes related to obesity, the only real cure may be to lose body fat.

Dr. Roger Unger, a diabetes expert at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says before insulin was discovered, starvation was the only treatment for diabetes. Reducing body fat and reducing the number of calories consumed will reduce the amount of insulin in the blood. A recent study found that weight loss was so much more effective than insulin for managing diabetes that the study was stopped so that patients being treated with insulin in the study wouldn’t have to continue with the less-effective treatment. One option for people who are more than 100 pounds overweight and therefore at much greater risk for diabetes is bariatric surgery, in which the size of the stomach is surgically reduced. 
Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in endocrinology. 

Next: More about bariatric surgery.


March 2008

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