Factors that increase the risk of developing diabetes include genetic predisposition and obesity, among others.


Factors that increase the risk of developing diabetes include genetic predisposition and obesity, among others.

Losing a few kilograms nearly halves the risk of diabetes; a large scale research study finds

A recent study conducted by the Norfolk Diabetes Prevention Study (NDPS) has revealed that making modest changes to lifestyle, diet, and physical activity can significantly reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The study, which spanned over eight years and involved more than 1,000 individuals with prediabetes, was published in the international journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

Physical activity can help overcome the risk of Type 2 diabetes.

The research found that implementing small lifestyle changes, such as losing two to three kilograms of weight and increasing physical activity, can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 40 to 47 percent for individuals with prediabetes. This is particularly significant considering that there are currently around eight million people with prediabetes in the UK, with 4.5 million already diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

The NDPS, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), aimed to examine the effectiveness of a simple lifestyle intervention in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. The study’s findings highlight the potential of real-world programs in preventing the onset of this condition.

Preventing diabetes by lifestyle change

Professor Mike Sampson, Chief Investigator of NDPS, expressed his delight with the trial’s results, stating that they provide evidence that a real-world lifestyle program can effectively prevent type 2 diabetes in individuals with prediabetes. This is encouraging news for the millions of people in the UK who have been diagnosed with prediabetes. The study also confirms that diabetes prevention is achievable within the current healthcare system.

Optimistic test results

The Norfolk Diabetes Prevention Study involved 135 GP practices in the East of England and screened 144,000 individuals at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Over 1,000 people with prediabetes participated in a randomized controlled trial, which compared a real-world lifestyle intervention to a control group. The study’s findings demonstrate the effectiveness of this intervention in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.

A breakthrough in averting type 2 diabetes

The NDPS intervention, delivered in group settings, proved to be a cost-effective approach compared to individual-focused interventions. Professor Colin Greaves, who co-led the intervention development, emphasized that this strategy offers individuals diagnosed with prediabetes an opportunity to change their lives and prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Elizabeth Robertson from Diabetes UK welcomed the study’s findings, highlighting the importance of group-based support programs in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. She also emphasized the significance of modest weight loss and lifestyle changes in preventing this condition.

Overall, this research provides valuable insights into the effectiveness of lifestyle interventions in preventing type 2 diabetes, offering hope for individuals at high risk of developing this condition.

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