One of the most prevalent health issues in United States, diabetes is one of the biggest pubic health threats. With almost ten percent (9.3% or 29 million people) of our country’s denizens suffering from the disease, it’s only natural that we put a lot of time and money into researching the affliction.
But it turns out that we were wrong once again regarding what truly matters when talking about diabetes – prevention. According to a new study from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, lack of exercise in youth increases diabetes chance.
Sweden conscripts and exercise
Using a group of young, Swedish, teenage boys as a sample, the researchers mounted a large-scale meta-analysis to determine the role of exercise and lack thereof on developing diabetes later in life. The results were quite unexpected.
By looking at the data of over a million conscripts since before they turned eighteen and tracking them until they turned sixty-two, the team of researchers determined that poor physical fitness at the age of eighteen can lead to three time the diabetes risk regardless of weight, BMI, or genetic factors.
Out of the more than one million subjects, a surprisingly little number of 33,000 developed type 2 diabetes. From them, about half were diagnosed with the disease in their 40s. Indeed, no other previously believed factor seemed to influence the risk of diabetes as much as not being physically fit in your late teens or young adulthood.
The study’s lead researcher, Dr. Neil Calman of Mount Sinai Health System wanted to remind parents to get their children to exercise as much as possible. Playing, exercising, and physical activity can lead up to three times lower a chance of developing diabetes regardless of any other factors.
But that’s not all. The team will also start studying the effects of the BMI (although it was deemed a poor unit of measure), exercise, and muscle strength on other diseases. These other studies that are going to be performed by the team are going to revolve around cancer and ischemic heart disease, the number one and number two killer in the United States.
One of the most surefire ways to make sure that your child does indeed get a taste for exercising is to sign him or her up for different physical activities. Be it football, martial arts, professional dancing, or ice skating, it’s very important for your child’s health that they get a taste of physical exercise.
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