Research published in the journal Critical Care suggests that obesity alone does not reduce life expectancy. However, the risk of developing critical illnesses trebles if you have diabetes.
The link between obesity and Type 2 diabetes is well known but now researchers believe that obesity alone is not a predictor of life-threatening illness or early death.
Statistics from over 15,000 people in the US were analysed over a three-year period. They looked at Body Mass Index (BMI), presence of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, history of critical illness and death rates.
"We already know that when people are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, most are overweight," said Zoe Harrison, Care Advisor at Diabetes UK.
"This research clearly highlights how serious diabetes can be. The complications of diabetes include strokes, kidney damage, amputations, nerve damage and blindness.
"However, if people are diagnosed early and treated effectively, the chances of developing such complications can be dramatically reduced."