This review aims to summarize the type 1 diabetes (T1D) and weight literature with an emphasis on barriers associated with weight management, the unique T1D-specific factors that impact weight loss success, maladaptive and adaptive strategies for weight loss, and interventions to promote weight loss.
Weight gain is associated with intensive insulin therapy. Overweight and obese weight status in individuals with T1D is higher than the general population and prevalence is rising. A variety of demographic (e.g., female sex), clinical (e.g., greater insulin needs), environmental (e.g., skipping meals), and psychosocial (e.g., depression, stress) factors are associated with overweight/obese weight status in T1D. Fear of hypoglycemia is a significant barrier to engagement in physical activity. Studies evaluating adaptive weight loss strategies in people with T1D are limited.
There is a growing literature highlighting the prevalence and seriousness of overweight and obesity among both youth and adults with T1D. There is an urgent need to develop evidence-based weight management guidelines and interventions that address the unique concerns of individuals with T1D and that concurrently address glycemic control.