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Diabetes and Weight Loss
Diet and Exercise Cause Short Term Benefits in Overweight Patients With Diabetic Family History
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Diabetes & Weight Loss

Lifestyle intervention in overweight individuals with a family history of diabetes.

Weight Loss Study Aim
To assess the effect of lifestyle intervention over 2 years on changes in weight, coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors, and incidence of diabetes in overweight individuals with a parental history of diabetes.

Weight Loss Study Method
Participants, who were 30-100 percent over ideal body weight, had one or both parents with diabetes, and were currently non-diabetic, were randomly assigned to 2-year treatments focused on diet (decreasing calories and fat intake), exercise (goal of 1,500 kcal/week of moderate activity), or the combination of diet plus exercise or to a no-treatment control group. Subjects were reassessed at 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years.

Weight Loss Study Results
At 6 months, the groups differed significantly on measures of eating, exercise, and fitness; weight losses in the diet and diet-plus-exercise groups were significantly greater than in the exercise and control conditions. Weight losses were associated with positive changes in CHD risk factors. After 6 months, there was gradual deterioration of behavioral and physiological changes, so that at 2 years, almost no between-group differences were maintained. Differences between groups in risk of developing diabetes were of borderline significance. Strongest predictors were impaired glucose tolerance at baseline, which was positively related to risk of developing diabetes, and weight loss from baseline to 2 years, which was negatively related; in all treatment groups, a modest weight loss of 4.5 kg reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by approximately 30 percent compared with no weight loss.

Weight Loss Study Conclusions
Although initially successful, the interventions studied here were not effective in producing long-term changes in behavior, weight, or physiological parameters. However, weight loss from 0 to 2 years reduced the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Since modest weight loss significantly reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, further research is needed to determine how best to increase the percentage of subjects achieving at least a modest weight loss.

Source: Wing RR, Venditti E, Jakicic JM, Polley BA, Lang W. Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pennsylvania, USA. 1998

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