It seems likely that type 1 and type 2 diabetes lie at different points of the same spectrum, separated by the misunderstanding that one belongs to childhood and the other to adulthood. The spectrum is that of tempo--the rate at which beta cell function is lost over time. A combination of beta cell up-regulation (insulin demand, largely determined by obesity) and the genetically-determined immune response to it ('autoimmunity') determines tempo, ranging from slow to fast with every variant in between. There is good evidence that people who go on to develop type 1 (fast) diabetes are, like those who develop type 2 (slow diabetes), insulin resistant, and overwhelming evidence that body mass plays a key role. The prevention of type 1 diabetes may lie in weight restriction from an early age.
© 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.