Friday Fun Fact: Sumo Wrestlers

Japanese Diapers + Diabetes?

Sumo wrestling, of course! What else did you think I was writing about? Before we get to the good part, I need you to freshen up on a few facts on sumo wrestling and diabetes (as separate entities):

  • Sumo wrestling requires their athletes to be heavy and low to the ground.
  • The average sumo wrestler has a BMI of >45.
  • A BMI of > 30 is considered “obese,” and a BMI of > 40 is considered “morbidly obese.”
  • There’s a correlation between the rise in obesity and the rise in diabetes over the last 30 years.
  • Excess body fat causes insulin resistance – which means your insulin is not working as well as it used to because your cells refuse to respond. This causes high blood sugars.
  • Insulin resistance is a huge problem with type II DM.
  • A person might make the assumption that gaining weight or being overweight results in a sooner onset of type two diabetes.

HOWEVER…

Sumo wrestlers with a BMI of up to 60 have shown to have VERY LITTLE insulin resistance.

What?! They’re fat though! Shouldn’t they have diabetes? Well, yeah. Except for one thing…

Your Friday Fun Fact:

Sumo wrestlers with a BMI of 60 show very little insulin resistance UNTIL they retire from the sport. Upon retirement, almost all retired sumo wrestlers develop insulin resistance and are diagnosed as Type II diabetic. 

What does this mean?

This means that overweightness is not the only factor that contributes to insulin resistance. You can avoid diabetes at a HIGH BODY WEIGHT by continuing to exercise/move on a daily basis. There is a significant difference in health between a morbidly obese body that moves and a sedentary body that doesn’t. 

Physical activity trumps body fat.

Whoa. Weight isn’t the only indicator of health? SURPRISE!

Happy Friday.

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