(NNPA)—The battle of the bulge is a lifelong challenge for many women. This is largely because our bodies are designed to store fat more easily than men’s bodies to protect a potential fetus during the childbearing years. We have more enzymes for storing fat and fewer enzymes for burning fat.
This struggle with weight gain gets more challenging as we age. Estrogen declines, cortisol (the stress hormone) increases and our metabolism slows, enabling more weight gain. And after age 40, we start to lose muscle mass. Body fat usually replaces that muscle.
Being overweight comes with chronic disease risks, such as higher cholesterol and higher blood pressure. These increase the risk of developing other diseases, including diabetes, which is at epidemic levels in the Black community. We are almost two times as likely to develop the disease as our white counterparts.
Prediabetes: the Diabetes precursor
When blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be diabetes, you are said to have prediabetes. Though it’s not full-blown type 2 diabetes, it still endangers your health. With prediabetes, your risk of heart attack is 1.5 times higher than normal. (It’s two to four times higher with diabetes.) And long-term cardiovascular damage could be happening already.