Effect of exercise, nutrition and obesity on non-communicable diseases

Cardiovascular disease

Obesity leads to high blood pressure and the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries, which lead to cardiovascular disease. It also increases the likelihood of developing diabetes, another risk factor cardiovascular disease.

Being obese – with deposits of lipids in the abdomen - increases blood pressure beyond normal levels and increases levels of blood lipids.

Type 2 diabetes

Body fat also affects the body's ability to use insulin.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body's cells lose their sensitivity to insulin – they no longer respond, or respond less effectively, to the insulin that's produced.

Obesity accounts for 80 to 85 per cent of the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Rising obesity is linked with a 'western diet' – a diet that includes energy-rich 'fast foods' – and an inactive lifestyle.

The bar charts show the increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes associated with people's Body Mass Index (BMI).

The bar charts show the increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes associated with people’s Body Mass Index.

There is no cure for Type 2 diabetes, but it may be possible to control it by diet and exercise.

The risk of developing cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes can be reduced by eating a balanced diet and taking regular exercise.