Researchers at the University of Veracruz (UV), Mexico recently highlighted the life choices risks in young adulthood and their impact on the chances to develop diabetes later in life.
Young people aged 17 to 24 years old, the authors noted, who skip breakfast, have limited exercise activity, and are under mild psychological stress exhibit higher risk to develop diabetes. In the study, the authors showed that 37 percent of the university student population is overweight, which is associated with waist-fat distribution and an increased risk for diabetes. Additionally, the authors noted that being overweight is enhanced by bad sleeping habits and tension, the mild psychological stress. Skipping breakfast is another stress factor the authors believe promote metabolic imbalance in students contributes to weight gain by “instructing” the body to conserve energy due to the lack of food intake.
Beatriz Torres Flores, head at the Center for Research and Health Services at the Universidad Veracruzana noted, “We find college students with glucose levels over 100 or blood pressure over 120, clearly some of these cases represent a risk of developing a chronic degenerative disease. Although we know that there are people genetically predisposed to develop diseases such as diabetes, improving food culture as habits of the students is an option that would contribute to stop the development of the disease.”
Thus, the authors suggest that food education should be adopted and taught to students, as well as physical education, so that the student population becomes more aware of their life-choice risks in developing chronic degenerative diseases, such as diabetes mellitus.
Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases characterized by higher than normal glucose levels in the blood for a prolonged period of time. In adults, there are two main types of diabetes. In diabetes type I, the body fails to produce enough insulin (a peptide hormone produced by the pancreas), and diabetes type II is characterized by insulin resistance, i.e., when cells fail to respond to insulin. One of the causes for diabetes is the abnormal accumulation of lipids in the liver and muscle. Its accumulation prevents these organs from properly absorbing glucose. Thus, glucose accumulates in the blood, leading to diabetes associated health conditions as blindness and cardiovascular diseases.