Diet and exercise reduces incidence of diabetes

 
By Sheryl Kay • Published: October 10th, 2008
Category: Health in a Heartbeat
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Taking that big slice of double chocolate fudge cake might seem tempting, but if you knew that by not eating it you could give yourself a decade or more free from illness, that dessert might just lose its appeal.

According to a recent study published in a special issue of The Lancet, people who were at high risk for developing diabetes and who practiced good nutrition and exercise regimens were able to hold off the disease, some for up to fourteen years.

The trial involved nearly six-hundred at-risk patients who were randomly assigned to three lifestyle intervention groups, as well as one group that did not make any changes in exercise or nutrition. The study began in 1986 and culminated in 1992. Then, in 2006, those same people were re-evaluated to determine the long-term effects on the onset of diabetes from the earlier study.

Researchers found that improved nutrition and keeping fit reduced the incidence of diabetes by forty-three percent over the twenty years since the study first began. Furthermore, after two decades, eighty percent of those who had participated in the lifestyle intervention groups had been diagnosed with diabetes, compared with ninety-three percent of the initial group that did not take part in any lifestyle improvements.

While it appears that better nutrition and a solid exercise program might not prevent the onset of diabetes forever, a change to a healthier lifestyle might just add a decade free from the disease.