The Guardian

Why does obesity cause diabetes? You asked Google – here’s the answer | Thomas Barber

Every day millions of internet users ask Google life’s most difficult questions, big and small. Our writers answer some of the commonest queries
Rather than referring to obesity as a cause of diabetes, it is more accurate to frame the issue as one of association between obesity and type 2 diabetes – which is incontrovertibly true. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA

‘Cause” is a strong word. It means that A results in B happening. Causality is also surprisingly difficult to prove. Most medical studies only show association between A and B, while causality often remains speculative and frustratingly elusive. Obesity and diabetes are no exception.

There are many types of diabetes. All are unified by elevated levels of blood sugar. Type 1 diabetes accounts for less than 10% of cases and results from autoimmune destruction of the beta cells in the pancreas, which produce and release insulin. (In an autoimmune process, antibodies that

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