Modest weight loss + diet + exercise lowers type 2 diabetes risk

June 13, 2000 in Diabetes & Diabetes Prevention, Nutrition Topics in the News

Modest weight loss + diet + exercise lowers type 2 diabetes risk

The Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study (DPS) studied 523 adults, average age 55, who had impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), a state in between "normal" and "diabetes," in which the body is no longer using and/or secreting insulin properly. Ten to 20% of all adults have IGT.

Participants were considerably overweight. Participants were randomized to the intervention group or to the control group.

The intervention group received individual counseling on nutrition and exercise, including hour-long private meetings with a dietitian seven times during the first year and once every three months thereafter. Individual dietary advice focused on weight reduction, reducing intake of total and saturated fats and total calories, and increasing dietary fibre.

The intervention group also received an individual exercise assessment and program plan, based on the type of exercise suitable for and enjoyed by each, focusing on muscle strengthening by such means as resistance training and weight lifting, rather than aerobic exercise, as well as increasing their walking and exercise in other daily activities.

In contrast, control group participants had one meeting each year with a nutritionist and a physician. They were given standard advice for the same type of dietary improvements as the intervention group and were encouraged to do more exercise, such as by increasing their walking and other daily activities.

The results of the four-year study found that the risk of diabetes was 22% in the control group and only 10% in the intervention group, yielding a 58% reduction in risk of the disease. Equal benefits were seen in men and women.

Those in the intervention group had lost an average of 4.2 kg (9.24 lbs.) in the first year compared to only 0.8 kg (1.76 lbs) in the control group.

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