But You Don’t Look Like You Have Diabetes!

Has anyone ever said this to you? You might have wanted to reply “what do you think diabetes looks like?” Because the truth is you can’t tell if someone has it by looking at them. Diabetes can look like anyone:

Pretty senior woman listening to music
  • All ages: children, teens, young adults, and older adults
  • All weights: underweight, normal weight, and overweight
  • All fitness levels
  • All races/ethnicities

Many people think that being overweight causes diabetes. Being overweight is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes (not type 1), but many overweight people never develop it. Also, many people who have type 2 diabetes aren’t overweight. For example, Asian Americans tend to be normal weight, but on average they have less muscle and more fat than other groups and often develop type 2 diabetes at a younger age and lower weight.

Before you had diabetes, you probably didn’t know much about it either. But now that you do, you can share your knowledge with others and help clear up misunderstandings about this chronic disease.

Find Out More

CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation
Not Just Your Grandma’s Diabetes
Diabetes Basics
Diabetes Features & Spotlights
CDC Diabetes on Facebook
@CDCDiabetes on Twitter

Page last reviewed: March 1, 2019