There’s a new term in the lexicon of health concerns: diabesity, which reflects the close link between Type 2 diabetes and obesity.

It’s a growing concern, health professionals say, because both conditions are increasing rapidly in the U.S., in part because of diet and lack of exercise. The more fatty tissue a person has, the more resistant their cells become to insulin and the greater the predisposition to Type 2 diabetes.

The good news, says Malcolm Broome, executive director of the Mississippi Peanut Growers Association, is that the condition can be controlled by medication, physical activity, and healthy eating — including peanuts.

“If you have diabetes or are at increased risk for diabetes, you don’t have to cut peanuts from your diet,” he said at the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation’s summer peanut commodity meeting. “In fact, scientists have found that eating a daily serving of peanuts can actually counteract diabetes risk factors and aid in weight loss.”

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In 2010, 27 percent of U.S. adults age 65 and older had diabetes. In 2005-2008, 35 percent of all U.S. adults had pre-diabetes, which is more likely to become true diabetes. In 2008, 34 percent of U.S. adults were overweight, and 34 percent were obese — a total of 68 percent above optimum weight range.