Overweight adults are recommended to take blood sugar testing: US Task Force

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Oct 27, 2015 06:00 AM EDT

First lady Michelle Obama speaks to students at Edward A. Reynolds West Side High School on February 5, 2015 in New York City. The first lady was visiting the school to support a decision by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to commit $500 million over the next decade to end childhood obesity. (Photo : (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images))

In an unprecedented health measure taken by the U.S. government, a new recommendation was made to encourage all overweight and obese adults across the country to subject themselves through a screening to identify unhealthy levels of blood glucose in their body.

Medical experts from the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) come up with the health advice as part of their campaign on preventive health services, reported Live Science. American adults who were already in their 40's and heavier than what their normal weights should be, must take it upon themselves to undergo blood testing, even those who do not have symptoms of the dreaded and widespread diabetes disease.

"Any test a primary care physician would do on a healthy person can have both potentially beneficial and potentially harmful outcomes. Because of that, it's important to focus on screening tests that we know, on balance, are effective," Task Force member Dr. Michael P. Pignone of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, told Reuters Health in an email.

"The Task Force found screening adults ages 40 to 70 who are overweight or obese can identify individuals with abnormal blood glucose levels before it progresses to diabetes and that offering or referring them to intensive lifestyle interventions can help prevent or delay complications from the disease."

The primary reason for doing such recommendation is to find out those individuals who are already at great risk of developing diabetes or heart disease. These screenings are also helpful to determine those cases where people already have the disease but have yet to know about it.

According to Pignone, more recent and conclusive findings have shown that intensive lifestyle interventions can prevent diabetes and other cardiovascular problems for those who have abnormal levels of blood sugar, the NPR,org also reported.

Intensive lifestyle interventions could involve improvement in the diet and getting more into physical fitness activities with the help of a trained educator. The USPSTF is hoping that this will help curb the surge in obesity-related diabetes and the health complications that go along with it.

For every 10 adults in the U.S., one has diabetes and 86 million Americans over the age of 20 are pre-diabetic according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. People who are not overweight or obese could also be at risk, Pignone also cautioned, particularly those who have family history of diabetes and members of certain racial or ethnic minorities such as African Americans, Alaska Natives, American Indians, Asian Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, or Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.

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