Does Diabetes Weight Gain Give Us Clues about the Fundamental Cause of Obesity?

Diabetes weight gain may give us critical clues about what causes overweight.

As we've been discussing, the Caloric Balance Hypothesis postulates that "Calories In" and "Calories Out" control how much fat we gain and lose. It says overeating and sedentary living make us fat, and calorie restriction and exercise make us thin.

The Lipophilia Hypothesis says that our fat tissue is "in charge." When we accumulate more fat, this drives up "Calories In" and drives down "Calories Out." Conversely, when we mobilize fat, "Calories In" goes down and "Calories Out" goes up.

Caloric Balance makes no prediction about why obesity and type 2 diabetes might associate.

Lipophilia, on the other hand, makes a precise prediction; namely, that type 2 diabetes and obesity are both symptomatic of chronic hyperinsulinemia driven (primarily) by high carb diets.That is why we see diabetes weight gain.

So can dietary carbs cause both obesity and type 2 diabetes?

In fact, evidence abounds to support this idea:

1. For a comprehensive discussion, see chapter 11 of Good Calories, Bad Calories: "The Significance of Diabetes."[1]

2. Also, see chapter 4 of the book Life Without Bread: "Diabetes and Insulin Resistance."[2]

3. Here's an article from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition from May 2004: "Study blames corn syrup for rise of diabetes."

"Corn syrup and other refined foods may be partly responsible for the huge increase in type 2 diabetes in the US over the past few decades... Foods with a high glycemic index cause a spike in insulin production. Over time, repeatedly eating foods in this pattern can cause insulin resistance, which in turn leads to diabetes."[3]

4) Here's another link about diabetes weight gain that does not come from an objective source -- it's obviously a pro low carb source -- but the author does a good job of hammering home critical arguments, such as:

"Type 2 diabetes is not an inherited disease as is often claimed. Type 2 diabetes symptoms can be controlled by eating the low carbohydrate diet. Animal fats do not cause diabetes and do not make diabetes worse."[4]

5) Here's another article written by Dr. Greg Ellis: 'The cause of diabetes is carbohydrate overconsumption.'

He argues:

"Diabetes is characterized by a physiological state in which the body's whole metabolism becomes deranged and out of control. Researchers still grapple with the enormous complexity of this disease... [nevertheless] obesity has only one cause and the solution is a simple one. Does that mean that the solution to the cause of diabetes may also be simple?"[5]

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1. Taubes, Gary. "Good Calories, Bad Calories." New York: Knopf (2007).

2. Allan, Christian and Lutz, Wolfgang. "Life Without Bread." New York: McGraw-Hill (2000).

3. Study blames corn syrup for rise of diabetes. Defeat (4/29/04).

4. What is Type 2 Diabetes? from

5. Ellis, Dr. Greg. Diabetes Free Mini-Course (Feb 25 2009).

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