Diabesity – the new health epidemic?

With the rapid rise in the prevalence of obesity and diabetes mellitus, diabesity is emerging as a global widespread epidemic. This term, diabesity refers to the link which exists between the two conditions. It is estimated that come 2030, 54% of the global population will be diagnosed with diabetes mellitus![1] So how is it that with all the advances in technology and our ever-increasing knowledge that this condition is claiming the health of individuals all around the world?

When was the last time you took the stairs instead of the escalator or lift? Our society today is based around moving less and interacting with our environment less. Not only does this decrease our energy expenditure, it also encourages higher stress levels and poor eating habits and hygiene – all risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM). Another emerging risk factor for T2DM is sleep, or a lack there of. Studies have shown short sleep, 4-5hrs/night results in a decrease in glucose clearance by 40%.[2-4] So how do we address these factors and lower our risk of developing T2DM?

Exercise! Structured activity targeted to increase the uptake of glucose from the blood, decrease stress levels, increase energy expenditure and encourage healthy eating and sleeping habits is a crucial step in preventing and managing diabetes. A combination approach incorporating both aerobic and resistance based exercise is optimal when providing an intervention for individuals with T2DM. An increase in exercise has been shown to reduce the prevalence of T2DM in individuals at risk by almost 60%, time to get moving! [5]

If you or someone you know is affected by/at risk of diabetes mellitus, an Accredited Exercise Physiologist can help you understand and manage such a condition. For more information, contact Absolute Balance via info@absolutebalance.com.au.


Eleisha Laurent (B. Sc. – Exercise Physiology)
Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP, ESSAM)



  1. Organization, W.H., Obesity: preventing and managing the global epidemic. 2000: World Health Organization.
  2. Knutson, K.L., et al., Role of sleep duration and quality in the risk and severity of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Arch Intern Med, 2006. 166(16): p. 1768-74.
  3. Lucassen, E.A., K.I. Rother, and G. Cizza, Interacting epidemics? Sleep curtailment, insulin resistance, and obesity. Ann N Y Acad Sci, 2012. 1264: p. 110-34.
  4. Gallicchio, L. and B. Kalesan, Sleep duration and mortality: a systematic review and meta‐analysis. Journal of sleep research, 2009. 18(2): p. 148-158.
  5. Medicine, E.i. Type 2 Diabetes and Exercise. 2014.