Lifestyle risk factors for prediabetes
Lifestyle includes nutrition, movement, sleep, and mindset. Whilst we are not all the same, there are some common factors that contribute to the development of prediabetes. In this article we discover what these are.
Need to know
- Lifestyle includes food and drink (nutrition), movement and exercise, sleep, and mindset.
- Nutrition is typically the most important contributor to prediabetes. Sugar and ultra-processed foods are the major culprits.
- Once prediabetes has developed it is important to improve lifestyle to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.
Sugar and more
What lifestyles may lead to prediabetes?
The term lifestyle means the way a person lives their life. There are many aspects of lifestyle that can contribute to the development of prediabetes. These include:
- Nutrition (food and drink)
- Movement (exercise and general activity)
- Mindset (especially chronic stress)
Lifestyle choices can either help or harm health. A lot of research has been done over recent decades to understand how lifestyle contributes to prediabetes. Nutrition plays a very significant role. Consuming sugar, ultra-processed food, and refined carbohydrate over several years seems to be a common feature in the development of prediabetes.
Whilst each aspect of lifestyle can directly contribute to prediabetes, there is also an interaction across all the lifestyle factors. For example, chronic stress can lead to poor sleep and unhealthy food choices. Equally, poor sleep can lead to chronic stress. It is important to know that each person’s situation, circumstances, and body is different. Therefore the development of prediabetes shouldn’t be thought of as developing from any single lifestyle factor. It is usually a bit more complex.
What are the major lifestyle factors that increase the likelihood of prediabetes?
- Sugary drinks.
- Sugar in food.
- Ultra-processed foods (commonly known as “junk foods”).
- Large amounts of refined starchy carbohydrates (these are foods that digest down to glucose when eaten, for example, flour).
- Spending a lot of time sitting (known as being sedentary)
- Lack of activity that challenges big muscles in the arms, legs, and buttocks (known as resistance activity)
- Not sleeping for long enough.
- Not getting refreshing sleep.
- Feeling stressed most of the time (known as chronic stress)