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Diet and Exercise Can Prevent Onset Diabetes, Says New Study

Ryan | August 29th, 2012

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Following a weight loss plan that combines diet and exercise can prevent type 2 diabetes in the majority of women over 50 who are at risk of developing the disease, reports a new study published in the July 2012 issue of the journal Diabetes Care.

According to the U.S. Department of Health, 57 million Americans have “pre-diabetes” — their sugar levels are higher than normal, but not yet to the point where they are classified as having full-blown diabetes. The new study findings confirm what many in the medical community have been stressing for years, namely that a healthy diet combined with regular exercise can prevent diabetes from taking hold, in addition to lowering the risk of heart disease and kidney damage.

“For people with pre-diabetes, weight loss can help to prevent full-blown diabetes from developing,” explains Dr. Michael Kaplan, founder of The Center for Medical Weight Loss, the largest group of non-surgical weight loss physicians in the country. “Weight loss can also reduce blood pressure and lower heart disease risk, ensuring a healthier overall life.”

Best diet for diabetes prevention includes exercise

In the new study, University of Massachusetts Medical School researchers studied medical data taken over a 10-year period from more than 150,000 post-menopausal women. They found that women who rated positive for lifestyle factors such as healthy diet, physical activity and being non-smokers were on average 2 to 3 times less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

A key indicator for diabetes risk was body mass index (BMI), which measures a person’s percentage of body fat, taking weight and height into account. Having a BMI of 25 or higher was a major risk factor for over-50 women developing type 2 diabetes.

“Our work shows that women with both high body-mass index and low levels of physical activity are far more likely to develop diabetes,” reports Dr. Yunsheng Ma, lead researcher for the study. “A healthier diet and adequate levels of physical activity significantly lower that risk for most women.”

Diabetic diet plan may be supervised by a physician

For patients who already have type 2 diabetes, it’s important to consult a doctor before beginning a weight loss program, since medications, including insulin, may have to be readjusted to accommodate the patient’s new, lower blood sugar levels.

Many patients intent on committing to a diabetic diet have chosen to do so under the supervision of a specially trained weight loss physician. The team of doctors at The Center For Medical Weight Loss have produced thousands of weight loss success stories involving patients who were able to prevent or reverse their diabetes.

“We see diabetic patients all the time who lose weight and no longer need insulin,” says Dr. Michael 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.”

Doctors recommend easy ways to lose weight

Since medical weight loss doctors focus on each patient’s unique needs, they work together to develop a the best diabetic diet and exercise plan to suit his or her lifestyle, level of fitness, current medications, and weight loss goals.

To find out if one of the center’s 450 locations is in your area, enter your zip code in the search box above. Special introductory offers are available to first-time visitors at select locations.