11:38 a.m. CDT, October 22, 2010
Researchers looked at more than 5,000 patients ages 55 to 76 who were overweight or obese and had type 2 diabetes. All the participants were given information about diabetes. Half of the patients were also coached about their exercise program, weight and fitness level as well as their blood pressure and blood sugar levels. This group was encouraged to limit daily food consumption to 1,200 to 1,800 calories and to gradually increase the amount of moderate exercise (like brisk walking) to 2 hours and 55 minutes per week.
Those who received the additional support and coaching “achieved a weight loss of 6.15 percent of their body weight, which is roughly 13 pounds on average over four years,” said lead study author Dr. Rena Wing. The control group lost about 2 pounds, Wing added.
“This study showed (that) with a lifestyle intervention, people can lose weight and keep it off and improve their diabetes, fitness, and improve their heart disease risk factors for the long term,” says Dr. Susan Yanovski, an obesity expert at the National Institutes of Health.
The study also found that many of the participants were able to stop taking their diabetes and blood pressure medications.
This new research offers more evidence that lifestyle changes may be able to help reverse the symptoms of type 2 diabetes to the point that medications are no longer needed.
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