People with pre-diabetes who lose weight can slash their risk of full-blown diabetes.
Researchers monitored 3,000 overweight people with pre-diabetes—that is, their blood sugar levels were above normal, but not high enough to be diabetes. All were participants in the Diabetes Prevention Program, which randomly assigned more than 3,200 people to an intensive lifestyle intervention, the diabetes drug metformin, or a placebo. The lifestyle intervention included a goal of 150 minutes of exercise a week and diet counseling.
People in the lifestyle group who lost at least 10 percent of their body weight within six months of being diagnosed with pre-diabetes had an 85 percent lower risk of being diagnosed with diabetes over the next three years than those who lost no weight. Those who lost 7 to 9 percent of their body weight lowered their risk by 66 percent, and those who lost 5 to 6 percent of their body weight lowered their risk by 54 percent.
What to do: If you’ve been told that you have pre-diabetes, try to lose weight and boost your exercise before your next doctor’s appointment. The Diabetes Prevention Program is now offered at many YMCAs.
Source: J. Gen. Intern. Med. 2013. doi:10.1007/s11606-013-2548-4.
Other relevant links:
- Vitamin D supplements may decrease risk of type 2 diabetes by improving beta-cell function. See: Diabetes and Diet: Can Vitamin D Protect You Against Diabetes?
- Lower blood pressure can help protect against diabetic retinopathy. See: Diabetic Retinopathy
- • Sugary drinks can raise your risk of diabetes by 30%. See: Sugar in Food: Are Sugary Beverages Contributing to the Diabetes Epidemic?