In "The Lancet", 2006;368:1673-1679 it was reported that intensive exercise and diet may be the key to reducing the risk of developing diabetes. .
Originally there was a Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study. In the original study, the participants included overweight, middle-aged people with impaired glucose tolerance. The participants were randomly assigned to an intensive lifestyle intervention or a control group. The lifestyle intervention group was given individualized counseling in order to lose weight, decrease intake of fat and saturated fat, increase fiber intake, and exercise at least 30 minutes a day.
In the original study, participants were followed for four years. The intervention group achieved a 58-percent reduction in risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to the control group.
Then, after three years, a follow up study was done and was published in the current Lancet. It was reported that participants in the intervention group maintained a 36-percent reduction in risk of developing diabetes. The study showed that even after counseling had ended, a marked difference in reducing the risk of diabetes can be achieved. They concluded that this study reveals an important message. It was that an intensive lifestyle intervention lasting only a limited time can yield benefits that last a lot longer.
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