A new review of evidence published in the Annals of Internal Medicine overseen by the Community Prevention Services Task Force demonstrates that nutrition and physical activity programs can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Yes, Type 2 Diabetes can be prevented through diet and exercise!
Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in America. A person who has type 2 diabetes has too much glucose in their blood due to the body resisting insulin. To control the disease, most people have to inject themselves with an exact amount of insulin.
If it’s not treated, the glucose builds up in the blood, starving the cells of energy and eventually leading to serious health conditions including lower-extremity amputations, kidney failure, blindness and heart disease and stroke.
The review demonstrated that there is strong evidence that the combination of proper diet and consistent activity programs yielded economic and clinical effectiveness for people who had an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
53 studies were reviewed, evaluating 66 programs altogether. No matter the level of intensity, almost all diet and activity programs lowered the incidence of type 2 diabetes by lowering fasting blood glucose levels, decreasing body weight, and even improving other risk factors, such as blood pressure and cholesterol.
The programs that have been shown to be the most effective include the following important components: multiple educational training sessions about diet and physical activity, coaching and extended support, and at least 3 months of in-person, and/or email or online personal training sessions. Level of intensity did, however, have an effect on the level of effectiveness. For example, things like more sessions, more personal interaction with trainers and more staff increased effectiveness.
Preventing or controlling type 2 diabetes comes down to lifestyle. By eating better and moving your body, even those who are at risk for type 2 diabetes have a shot at averting the disease. It’s never too late to make better healthy lifestyle choices.