Before we make any attempts to prevent something, we need to first recognise the danger posed by that thing or understand what makes that thing a danger to us. When it comes to health issues one way of doing this is to understand how or what makes it easier for some people to get a disease or even what protects others from getting the disease. I guess disease prevention is important because most people don’t like being ill or don’t want to be ill and even fewer people want to take medicines every day. That’s just on the surface. Disease prevention makes even more sense when viewed from the economic or financial angle. If fewer people require treatment for a disease, less is spent treating the disease and this frees money for spending on other things. This is even more so for diseases like Diabetes and Hypertension which are chronic and so require treatment over long periods. Also, people are more productive and able to accomplish more if they are healthy.
There are four key factors when it comes to Diabetes prevention; our genes, food, weight and activity. Many different genes have been found to have a little to do with developing Type 2 Diabetes. Most of them affect how we process food into energy and how we store excess food consumed as fat. And it is the combination of several of these genes in any individual which influences how easy or how difficult it is for that person to get Diabetes. Having the genes which make it easier to get Diabetes doesn’t mean you’ll get it. One must have the right combination of genes, eat food that is in excess of the calorie needs for their body and then not exercise or be physically active enough to use up the excess calories consumed.
So, in preventing Type 2 Diabetes, the 3 factors that can be influenced in order to prevent the disease are food, weight and exercise since we can’t change our genes. Interestingly, Diabetes prevention begins before we are born! This is because the way your body processes and stores food is programmed while you are a baby in your mother’s womb. If a mother is undernourished during pregnancy, her unborn child’s systems are programmed to survive in scarcity, so the default is to store as much as possible for periods of no food. If that child is born, grows and becomes affluent the programmed setting doesn’t change. All excess food consumed is stored as fat rapidly until the fat stores are overwhelmed and then excess food accumulates in the bloodstream as high blood sugar.