Redefining type 2 diabetes: 'diabesity' or 'obesity dependent diabetes mellitus'?

Obes Rev. 2000 Oct;1(2):57-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1467-789x.2000.00013.x.


Type 2 diabetes is considered by diabetes physicians as a complex and heterogeneous disease with a poorly understood aetiology, apart from the fact that there is a strong genetic propensity that becomes overt when exposed to a typical Western lifestyle. Our clinical targets are now moving from controlling the disease to preventing it. Do we need to await more research on the aetiology and pathophysiology before establishing a preventive strategy? No, the pathophysiology may be poorly understood, but there is now solid evidence that type 2 diabetes is a disease of fatness. New, controlled, clinical trials show that as little as 5% weight loss is sufficient to prevent most obese subjects with impaired glucose tolerance developing type 2 diabetes. Since type 2 diabetes is obesity dependent, and obesity is the main aetiogical cause of type 2 diabetes, we propose the term 'diabesity' should be adopted.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue
  • Body Composition
  • Body Mass Index
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus* / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / epidemiology