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Linking obesity to Type 2 diabetes: Key Points

What links fat in the body to the development of disease like type 2 diabetes? This summary gives some of the key points.
Man measuring waist
© University of Leicester

What links fat in the body to the development of disease like type 2 diabetes? This summary gives some of the key points.

In normal body function:

Adipose tissue is where the body stores excess energy from food and drink as fat. There are locations all over the body including:

  • Around the heart
  • Under the skin
  • Inside and around the abdomen

The normal roles of insulin include:

  • Controlling fat release from fat stores
  • Stops glucose production in the liver
  • Stops protein breakdown e.g. in the muscle

When it goes wrong:

Insulin resistance develops, where normal insulin levels produce a less than normal response from the body.
Inflammation is also part of disease development. Adipose tissue is involved when it is overfilled and damaged.
When adipose tissue fails, excess fat that cannot be stored there ends up in organs such as the pancreas leading to disease.
© University of Leicester
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