According to one of the most respected experts on the disease, people at risk for developing type 2 diabetes if their jeans no longer fit.
Professor Roy Taylor from Newcastle University said that if people found they couldn't fit into the same size trousers, then they were overweight.
Taylor presented data at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes annual meeting on a study that showed that normal-weight people with type 2 diabetes can achieve remission through weight loss.
Eight out of 12 people were able to lose 10 to 15% of body weight.
Participants with type 2 diabetes, despite having a normal BMI, managed to reduce the levels of fat in their livers and pancreas. The activity of insulin-producing cells in their pancreas was also restored.
Taylor, the principal investigator, stated that doctors tend to believe that type 2 diabetes is caused by something other than being overweight. We have shown that people of normal weight can lose 10 to 15% of the weight they are currently at in order to get rid of diabetes.
Participants had an average BMI 24.5 and followed a weight loss program that included a low-calorie liquid diet. For two weeks, they consumed 800 calories per day through soups, shakes, and juices.
They did three rounds until they lost between 10 and 15% of their bodyweight.
After losing weight, scans revealed a reduction in liver fat. Eight of the 12 participants experienced type 2 diabetes going into remission. This was when blood sugar levels were under control and the patients no longer needed any medication.
Taylor stated that the preliminary results do not prove that diabetes is caused by obesity, but rather by being overweight.
He said, "If you have trouble fitting into the same size pants now, you may be carrying too much fat, and you could develop type 2 diabetes."
Dr Lucy Chambers, head of research communications at Diabetes UK who funded the study, stated that she was pleased with the results but warned that they were still early and full results are expected by 2022.