Doing this can reduce risk of type 2 diabetes

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Type 2 diabetes is an inherited disease, but habits can affect the risk of getting it. Obesity due to fatty and high-calorie foods, often in combination with limited activity, increases the risk considerably.

In a study from NTNU and St. Olav’s Hospital Centre of Obesity, scientists found long-term follow-up reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.

They followed people in the risk group for five years. Participants were offered organized physical activity and courses on a diet.

People with diabetes either do not produce enough insulin, or their cells resist the hormone, called insulin resistance.

This affects blood sugar levels and disrupts the metabolism of nutrients such as carbohydrates, fats and proteins in the body. However, it often helps to take action.

The team found changes in habits can be beneficial—if you actually implement them. That’s where long-term follow-up is needed.

In the study, all participants had a BMI of 25 or higher. This corresponds to being overweight or more. The study started with 189 people, and about 70% completed the program. Many of them had very good results.

Nine people already had symptoms of type 2 diabetes when they started, and six of them reduced their symptoms.

Other research has shown that simple lifestyle advice from people in the healthcare system does not reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

However, the participants in this study were offered physical activity and dietary courses for one year, and were followed up with measurements over a long period, in the case of this study for a full five years.

Having a long-term commitment appears to yield much better results.

Fifty-four of the participants dropped out during the five years, corresponding to just over 30%.

Many of the youngest participants and those with the highest BMI, waist circumference, and weight measurement were among the dropouts.

The researchers do not know exactly why these individuals chose not to carry on. There may be socio-economic reasons since the people who did not participate for the length of the project had less education and fewer were employed.

Another possible explanation is that the training and courses were scheduled during the day, which might have made it more difficult for younger people to participate.

Previous experience shows that people who most need the offerings to change their habits are more often the ones who do not take them up, or who quit the program.

If you care about diabetes, please read studies about high vitamin D level linked to lower dementia risk in diabetes, and green tea could help reduce death risk in diabetes.

For more information about diabetes, please see recent studies that blueberries strongly benefit people with metabolic syndrome, and results showing vitamin D could improve blood pressure in people with diabetes.

The study was conducted by Ingrid Sørdal Følling et al and published in BMJ Open.

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