Diabetes isn't so much about the size your waistline but more to do with insulin, a fat storage hormone that stores belly fat and leads to hormonal and metabolic changes that causes muscle loss and inflammation. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, nearly 1 in 4 skinny people have pre-diabetes and are "metabolically obese."

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These are basically folks who, despite consuming tons of bread, pasta, and sugar, don't necessarily gain huge amounts of weight. It's only when they go for a medical blood test that they discover their health status. And the reason why this is a cause of concern is because a normal sized person could still be a ticking time bomb for a heart attack, stroke, and even cancer and dementia.

There are a few criteria you can use that can help you identify yourself as having "diabesity" or being "skinny fat" - a family history of Type 2 diabetes or early onset of heart disease (heart attack in relative under 50 years old). Even a slight pot belly on a slight person can be a cause for conern. And if you happen to be of Asian or Indian descent, that means you can get diabesity at a much lower body weight.

So how do you know if you are a "skinny fat" person? The best way to find out is to head to your doctor and to conduct the following blood tests:
  • Fasting blood sugar or glucose (normal less than 90 mg/dl)
  • Triglycerides (normal less than 100 mg/dl)
  • HDL (good cholesterol (normal greater than 60 mg/dl)
  • Blood pressure (normal less than 120/80, ideal less than 115/75)
Below are a few other tests you can request from your doctor that can help you detect diabesity much earlier:

An insulin response test (what most doctors call a glucose tolerance test but with the addition of insulin measurements) that will:
  • Measure glucose (blood sugar) AND insulin levels while fasting and one and two hours after a 75-gram glucose drink (the equivalent of two sodas).
  • Glucose should be less than 90 mg/dl fasting and never go above 120 mg/dl at one and two hours. Over 140 mg/dl is pre-diabetes, and over 200 mg/dl is Type 2 diabetes.
  • Insulin should be less than 10 fasting and never go above 25 or 30 after the sugar drink. Many with diabesity and skinny fat people can have levels over 50, 100, or even 200.
NMR Lipid Particle Test
  •     This measures the size and number of cholesterol particles. You should have fewer than 1,000 total
  •     LDL particles and fewer than 500 small LDL particles.
  •     Most cholesterol tests just measure the total amount, like 200 mg/dl, but the particle test is MUCH better at predicting risk for heart disease.