Lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of diabetes
A recent article in the Lancet journal (Lancet 2006; 368: 1673-1679) showed strong evidence that lifestyle changes, for an extended period of time, can significantly reduce the risk of developing diabetes. This benefit lasted years beyond the intervention period.
The lifestyle changes involved the ‘simple’ efforts of increased exercise, improved diet by reducing calories and fat, targeted weight loss and increasing fiber. Of all these, obtaining a 5% weight loss was correlated with the greatest reduction in diabetes; but success in any of these areas independently reduced the risk. Overall, lifestyle changes reduced the risk of diabetes by 43% after 7 years!
EHS Corporate Care will provide counseling, guidance and referrals to help you target the same areas. We strongly encourage you to consider these changes yourself, thereby improving your short term health and reducing your long term risks of diabetes and other disorders.
Below is a detailed summary of the study (from COACH):
Overweight or obese men (n = 172) and women (n = 350) with impaired glucose tolerance at baseline (pre-diabetes) were randomized to an intervention or a control group. Persons in the intervention arm received individualized counseling to achieve the following lifestyle intervention treatment goals:
- At least 5% weight loss
- Less than 30% of daily energy intake from fat
- Less than 10% of daily energy intake from saturated fat
- At least 15 g of fiber per 1000 kcal
- At least 30 minutes of moderately intense physical activity per day
- Lifestyle intervention reduced the risk of new-onset diabetes by 43% (P = 0.0001) by the end of the 7-year study period; 75 and 110 patients were newly diagnosed with diabetes in the intervention and control group, respectively.
- Participants in the lifestyle intervention group more frequently achieved at least 4 goals compared with those in the control group (14% vs 6%, respectively; P < 0.001).
- Success scores showed a strong inverse correlation with diabetes incidence. o Achievement of the weight loss goal was the strongest predictor of reduced diabetes incidence.
- Lifestyle changes accomplished during the active intervention period were maintained at least 1 year afterward, and reduction in diabetes incidence was evident throughout the 7-year follow-up.
- During the post-intervention period alone, new-onset diabetes was reduced 36% in the intervention vs the control group (P = 0.0401).
Yours in health,