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Weight Loss Strategies and Diabetes
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Weight Loss Strategies & Diabetes

Weight Loss Study Summary
Combining several weight loss strategies is better than a standard weight loss program for people with adult-onset diabetes according to recent research. Researchers also found that greater weight loss led to improved control of blood sugar levels. Weight loss may be the single most important therapeutic objective for the 80 percent of diabetics who are overweight or obese. However, standard weight loss programs have not proven very effective. Therefore researchers tried a combination of low-calorie diets, energy-controlled meal replacements, and the weight-loss drug sibutramine (Meridia).

Weight Loss Study Method
Twenty-nine patients with type 2 diabetes were assigned to a control group that was given standard treatment, which included education, counseling and individualized exercise and diet prescriptions. Thirty other patients got the same treatment plus sibutramine daily and meal replacement products for 1 week every 2 months. The Slim Fast Foods Company provided meal replacement products and snack bars.

Weight Loss Study Results
At 1 year, the combination-treatment group lost significantly more weight (average 7.3 kilograms, about 16 pounds) than the control group (0.8 kg). Average blood glucose levels also decreased significantly in the combination-treatment group, but stayed the same in the standard group. Moreover, seven combination patients but only one standard patient required less diabetes medication.

Weight Loss Study Conclusion
Even though the replacement meals and snacks are high in sugar and other carbohydrates, researchers saw no problems with blood sugar levels. But they were not sure if people would tolerate the low-calorie diet for more than one week at a time. However, the researchers found the weight loss program was safe and easy to implement.

Source: Diabetes Care, September

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