- Researchers say that 90% of study participants saw their type 2 diabetes relieved after losing 10% of their body weight.
- Weight loss also helped participants keep their blood sugar levels within an acceptable range.
- Experts say that a long-term diet plan that moderately reduces calorie intake is the best way to lose weight and maintain weight.
Most people with type 2 diabetes do not need to change their lifestyle or calorie intake to get their blood sugar levels back to normal.
According to a study, 9 out of 10 people who lost only 10% of their weight within 5 years of being diagnosed with diabetes were able to achieve remission of the disease. The new research comes from the University of Cambridge, UK. This reinforces the importance of weight control, which can be achieved by changing diet and increasing physical exercise.
No need to go to extremes
In past studies, researchers have reported that people who adhere to a high-intensity, low-calorie diet (designed to reduce 700 calories per day) for 8 weeks can usually successfully normalize blood sugar. The Cambridge University study is one of the few studies that proves that low-intensity interventions can also effectively control the disease.
Researchers studied the data of 867 people between 40 and 69 newly diagnosed with diabetes. They found that in the clinical trial, 257 participants (30%) had remission of diabetes 5 years after diagnosis.
It is known that quite drastic measures (such as intensive weight loss programs and extreme calorie restriction) can be used to relieve diabetes. These interventions can be very challenging for individuals and difficult to achieve. But our research results show that it is possible to get rid of diabetes in at least 5 years, while losing weight by 10%. This will be more motivated and therefore easier to achieve for many people.
According to this study, overall, people who lose 10% or more of their weight within 5 years of diagnosis are twice as likely to experience remission as people who have not lost significant weight. Weight loss is most effective for newly diagnosed participants, but it also helps stabilize the blood sugar of about half of people with years of diabetes.
When patients are first diagnosed with diabetes, they are usually very active in making changes. The farther they are from the diagnosis, the less likely they are to take measures to improve their health.
Losing weight is critical
Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can be controlled through lifestyle changes and medications. For example, a study published in the journal Diabetes in 2006 reported that the blood sugar levels of people who had undergone bariatric surgery to lose weight quickly stabilized.
In an analysis of diet and nutrition interventions published in the journal in 2018, researchers at the University of Cambridge said that health experts generally agree that weight loss is the cornerstone of diabetes interventions. The idea of dieting for chronic lifelong diseases such as diabetes is enough to discourage many people because it is challenging to know what to eat and maintain an optimal diet. Said that weight loss goals need to be long-term.
Although a fad diet may reduce weight quickly, changes that help prevent weight rebound are actually the most important for long-term health. A good start is to reduce the extra food that exceeds the food needed to satisfy hunger. Making changes to lose weight, whether it's 6 months or 5 years, means changing our relationship with food, environment, and habits.
Doctors may hesitate to discuss dieting issues with patients because they lack the knowledge of an effective plan or do not have time to make a diet plan during the visit. A core component of the study is the referral of diabetes diagnosis by primary care physicians to registered dietitians. The most important point that can be drawn from this research is that not only weight loss can help diabetes, but individuals need to be screened so that they know they have diabetes. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 7.2 million Americans have diabetes, but they don't know it. It is important not to assume that your blood sugar level is good and ask your doctor to check it.
Compare different diets
Researchers at the University of Cambridge are now conducting a follow-up study called GLoW (lowering glucose through weight management). The study will compare the effectiveness of the two weight loss programs among people who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in the past 3 years and have not previously participated in a structured weight loss program. In their early research, increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables was usually dietary advice for diabetic patients trying to lose weight. However, the researchers said that the cost of fresh produce relative to processed foods may also be some obstacles.