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Exercise and weight loss can cut your risk of Type 2 diabetes in half, study shows

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Norwich, England — Losing a few pounds and increasing physical activity can significantly reduce your risk for Type 2 diabetes, results of a recent study led by researchers from Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and the University of East Anglia suggest.

The researchers used data from the Norfolk Diabetes Prevention Study – a clinical trial that spanned eight years and involved supportive efforts to change lifestyle, dietary and physical activity habits of more than 1,000 people at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

They found that the participants who made “modest” lifestyle changes, including losing 4.4 to 6.6 pounds and increasing physical activity over two years, reduced their risk of Type 2 diabetes 40% to 47%.


“We are delighted with the results of this trial, as until now no one was very sure if a real-world lifestyle program prevented Type 2 diabetes in the prediabetes population we studied, as there have been no clinical trials that had shown this,” study co-author Mike Sampson, NDPS chief investigator and consultant in diabetes at NNU, said in a press release. “We have now shown a significant effect in Type 2 diabetes prevention, and we can be very optimistic that even a modest weight loss, and an increase in physical activity, in real-world programs like this have a big effect on the risk of getting Type 2 diabetes.”

The study was published online Nov. 2 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

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