The Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes) trial randomly assigned 5,145 overweight or obese adults with type 2 diabetes to an intensive lifestyle intervention or to “usual care” (advice for people with diabetes).
The intensive intervention included 1,200-to-1,800-calorie diet plans, advice to replace one snack and one or two meals a day with liquid shakes or meal bars, and 175 to 200 minutes of exercise (like brisk walking) each week.
During the first year, the intensive-intervention group had two to three weekly group sessions and one individual session a month where they were coached on cognitive behavioral therapy, problem solving, and other techniques to help them stay on track. For the next seven years, they had just one monthly meeting with a counselor. The usual-care group had one to three group meetings per year.
After eight years, the intensive-intervention group lost more weight (about 5 percent of their initial weight) than the usual-care group (2 percent). And 27 percent of the intensive group—but only 17 percent of the usual-care group—lost at least 10 percent of their starting weight.
What to do: Eat less and move more. Want a copy of the Look AHEAD hand-outs? Go to www.lookaheadtrial.org/public/dspMaterials.cfm.
Source: Obesity 22: 3, 5, 2014.