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Diabetes Prevention Begins with Five Healthy Habits

Whitney | July 11th, 2012

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A new study shows that a healthy lifestyle is a key component in effective diabetes prevention. According to the study, adults who develop five healthy habits lower their risk of developing type II diabetes.

With obesity statistics increasing nationwide, this study offers necessary tools to lower the incidence of diabetes overall.

Diet Plans for Diabetics: First Step

The study was authored by Jared Reis, a researcher for the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. Reis identified five healthy habits that are significant factors in diabetes prevention:

  • Weight management
  • Exercise
  • Diet
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol consumption

Weight management was the most significant factor of them all. The study found that men who maintained a body mass index (BMI) in the normal range were 70 percent less likely to develop diabetes, while women in the normal range were 78 percent less likely to be diagnosed with the condition than those in the obese or overweight category.

However, every healthy habit was a positive step in diabetes prevention.  Men and women who followed healthy diets and regular exercise programs were 30 percent less likely to develop diabetes. Non-smokers increased the percentage to one-third. When alcohol moderation was calculated, men became 39 percent and women 57 percent less likely to develop the condition. If BMI was included, men’s risk factors went to 72 percent and women’s to 84 percent.

Obesity Statistics on Rise in U.S.

According to the CDC, more than one-third of all adults in the United States are classified as obese. That number has increased dramatically over the past 20 years. The CDC further estimates that in 2008, medical costs to treat obesity-related conditions were around $147 billion. It appears that finding effective diabetes prevention would be as good for the nation’s pocketbook as its health.

As obesity statistics continue to rise, so does the number of individuals who develop type II diabetes. In 2010 alone, 26 million people in the U.S. were diagnosed with the condition. Some of those may go on to develop diabetes-related complications, including heart disease, kidney damage and osteoporosis.

Successful diabetes prevention does much more than lower statistics; it creates a healthier population overall.

Diabetes Prevention Starts with Weight Loss

Weight loss can help a patient manage diabetes more effectively. In many cases, trained physicians can design the most effective diet plans to reverse diabetes. The Center for Medical Weight Loss helps patients with both diabetes prevention and effective management of the disease. Doctors at the centers help patients create customized plans that help them realize their weight loss goals.

Dr. Michael Kaplan, founder and chief medical officer for The Center for Medical Weight Loss (CMWL), believes that patients diagnosed with diabetes can see dramatic improvements in their condition by simply shedding excess pounds.

“We see diabetic patients all the time who lose weight and no longer need insulin,” reports Dr. Kaplan. “When patients lose 5% – 10% of their body weight, it is a given that they will reduce their blood sugar significantly; many no longer need medication.”

The physicians at CMWL understand that weight loss isn’t easy. That’s why they believe that a customized, doctor-directed program is often the best approach for patients desperate to lose weight to improve their health.

Currently, CMWL operates 450 centers nationwide, and many offer special incentives for first time visitors. Use the zip code box above to see if there is a location near you.