Weight loss leads to long-term success for diabetics

June 17, 2008 in Diabetes & Diabetes Prevention, Nutrition Topics in the News, Weight Management

Weight loss leads to long-term success for diabetics

A 12-week weight loss program for people with type 2 diabetes can have lasting effects on weight and blood sugar control, say researchers at the Joslin Diabetes Center.

In this new study, 85 middle-aged people with type 2 diabetes were followed for ten years. The average weight of the study participants was 235 pounds and the average hemoglobin A1C was 7.5 percent.  

(Hemoglobin A1C is the amount of blood sugar sticking to hemoglobin, cells that carry oxygen in the blood. Long term control of blood sugar is determined by blood levels of hemoglobin A1C with levels over 7 percent indicating less than optimal control. ) 

In following a diet in which carbohydrates were reduced to 40 percent of total calories and protein was increased to 30 to 40 percent of total calories, the participants consumed fewer calories for the duration of the study.

After 12 weeks, this weight loss program resulted in an average loss of 25 pounds. Hemoglobin A1C dropped to an average of 6.6 percent bringing blood sugar control into the acceptable range.

After one year,  55 percent of the participants continued to lose weight on their own. The other 45 percent gained back an average of five pounds - but their final weight remained an average of 18 pounds lower than their starting weight.

Type 2 diabetes is life-long condition that affects more than 2 two million Canadians. Over time, many people with type 2 diabetes find it difficult to keep blood sugar levels within normal limits. As this research shows, weight loss can help improve long-term blood sugar control.

If you have type 2 diabetes, or think you're at risk, consider speaking to a registered dietitian who can help you with long-term weight management and blood sugar control.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.