Weight loss assists Type 2 diabetes patients, study finds

26 June 2013

A new study has highlighted a number of health benefits associated with weight loss among Type 2 diabetes patients.

Research conducted by the University of Pittsburgh, and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that the loss of weight can improve physical function and quality of life, and risk factors such as lipids and blood pressure with less reliance on medication.

Other benefits include better diabetes control, improved sleep, and psychological and emotional health benefits, the study found.

However, the research failed to support the view that engagement in a weight loss programme is effective in reducing the onset of cardiovascular disease and related mortality among Type 2 diabetes patients.

The study was led by John Jakicic, chair and professor in the Department of Health and Physical Activity in Pitt's School of Education, and director of the Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Centre.

He said the failure to establish a direct link between weight loss and reduced heart problems does not mean overweight adults with diabetes should not lose weight and become more physically active.

"Rather, there is an overwhelming amount of evidence from this study to date that has shown that weight loss and physical activity were associated with numerous other health benefits," Prof Jakicic stated.

"Adults with diabetes can begin to realise many of these health benefits with even modest reductions in body weight and modest increases in physical activity."

Posted by Jeanette Royston

The Look AHEAD Research Group. "Cardiovascular Effects of Intensive Lifestyle Intervention in Type 2 Diabetes." The New England Journal of Medicine. Monday June 24, 2013.

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