lifestyle

Lifestyle programmes can improve the health of type 2 diabetics, latest study shows

by Barbara Hewitt on January 11, 2018

Inexpensive weight loss and lifestyle programmes for people with type 2 diabetes may be more effective than drugs for some, a new study has found.

Researchers from the University of Glasgow found that those who completed a 16 week lifestyle course involving diet and exercise were half as likely to need to take medication.

Exercise

(By Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com)

They studied a group of 1,500 people with type 2 diabetes who attended the course supplied by the National Health Service and compared them with diabetics who did not.

Those who completed the programme weighed an average of 8kg less three years later while patients who did not were on average just 1kg lighter.

Those who lost at least 5kg on the programme had a significant reduction in their blood sugar levels, even three years later.

‘A real life, structured weight management intervention in patients with diabetes can reduce weight in the medium term, result in improved glycaemic control with fewer medications, and may be more effective than pharmacological alternatives,’ the study report says.

Dr Jennifer Logue, lead author of the study from the University of Glasgow, said it is the first real world study to show that the lifestyle weight management programmes that are available free on the NHS can have a long lasting meaningful clinical effect on type 2 diabetes.

‘Our hope is that this study will convince patients, clinicians and NHS managers that these inexpensive programmes can make a clinically significant difference to patients with type 2 diabetes,’ she explained.

One of those taking part was Ian Armstrong, 71, who weighed 107kg when he started on the programme in 2014. He lost 17.9kg during the 16 week lifestyle programme and was able to stop taking insulin completely.

He carried on with the programme until August 2016 and was able to come off his diabetes medication having lost 33kg and now weighs 65kg. He explained that the programme helped him with information and strategies to become healthier.

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