Results from a long-term study on the association between diabetes
incidence and weight loss show that there is hope for stemming the tide of this rapidly growing disease.
In this 10-year randomized clinical trial, researchers tracked
the incidence of type 2 diabetes in more than 3,000 overweight or obese participants enrolled in an intensive lifestyle modification program. The modifications, called the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), involved reducing dietary fat and calories, exercising and losing weight. The control groups were given either a placebo or metformin, an
oral diabetes drug.
At the end of 10 years, the DPP group prevented or
delayed the incidence of developing type 2 diabetes by about 4 years compared with the placebo group and
by 2 years when compared with the metformin group. These results were especially striking among study participants who were 60 years or older; they cut their risk
of developing diabetes in the next 10 years by about half!
The study findings appeared in the November 14, 2009,
issue of The Lancet.