This type of aerobic exercise reduces diabetes risk in obesity

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In a study from Fudan University, scientists found a 12-month vigorous or moderate aerobic exercise program can offer long-term beneficial effects on diabetes prevention in people with central obesity.

They assessed the long-term effect of a 12-month vigorous or moderate exercise intervention (coached and supervised) on incident diabetes during 10 years of follow-up.

The analysis included participants with central obesity and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease who were randomly assigned to vigorous aerobic exercise (73 individuals), moderate aerobic exercise (73 individuals), or a nonexercise control group (74 individuals).

Participants were asked not to change their diet.

The researchers found no big differences between the groups at 10-year follow-up, although there was a trend of higher levels of leisure-time physical activity in the exercise groups versus the control group.

The risk for diabetes was lower in the vigorous aerobic exercise group (relative risk, 0.51) and in the moderate aerobic exercise group (relative risk, 0.47) versus the nonexercise group.

Similarly, hemoglobin A1c and waist circumference were strongly reduced in the vigorous and moderate exercise groups versus the nonexercise group.

Fasting plasma glucose level and weight regain trended lower in the exercise groups than the nonexercise group, although not strong.

The team says these results are supportive of physical exercise as an effective scheme for obesity management to delay the progression of type 2 diabetes.

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For more information about diabetes, please see recent studies about why diabetes strongly raises risk of severe COVID-19, and warning about widely used diabetes drug metformin.

The study was conducted by Ying Chen et al and published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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