Even modest weight loss slashes diabetes risk

By Bryan Gilmer • Published: May 12th, 2010
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Carrying some extra pounds? You don’t have to get celebrity-skinny to be a lot healthier.

You don’t have to exercise like a triathlete, either.

Just trying to lose seven percent of your body weight by eating better and exercising about twenty minutes a day has huge benefits.

For overweight people at a high risk for developing diabetes, those lifestyle changes cut their risk of getting the disease by a third, researchers found.

In fact, modest weight loss and exercise work twice as well as a leading anti-diabetes drug. And lifestyle improvements help older adults even more than younger ones.

That’s what researchers found in a massive ten-year study of diabetes prevention. It involved about four-thousand people at twenty-seven locations across the United States.

Researchers started by teaching one group to exercise more and lose weight. They gave another group the prescription drug met-FORM-in, and a third group got a dummy pill.

Just a few years into the study, it was so obvious that exercise was working best that the researchers felt ethically obligated to tell everyone in the study to do it.

Even though people gained back some of their lost weight over the course of the decade, their diabetes risk stayed lower.

So, not only are exercising and losing weight good for your heart and good for your mood… they slash your risk of developing diabetes, too.

The scientific evidence seems to be multiplying like the remote controls on your coffee table.

The prescription for better health? Put down the cupcake and step away from the couch.