Lifestyle changes are necessary to prevent Diabetes
The DPP or Diabetes Prevention Program, conclusively showed that the group that made radical lifestyle changes managed to prevent the onset of Diabetes in a much higher percentage than the group who only took Diabetes medications for reducing insulin resistance (Metformin).
Lifestyle regime changes based on diet and exercise weren’t intensive. People in this group exercised moderately (150 minutes per week), many chose to walk 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week. They also had to change their eating habits, reducing their fat intake, for example, changing bacon for breakfast cereals and eating more fruits and vegetables, but without halting their consumption of meat, chicken or fish and could even eat desserts.
The goal was to reduce the participant’s weight by at least 7%, which means that if a person weighed 100 kilos (220 lb) they had to lose at least 7 kg (15 lb) and maintain that weight through diet and exercise.
The fact that both therapies, lifestyle changes and drug treatment had an effect in Caucasians, African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders was very encouraging. The DPP is the first study to show that preventive strategies can work across a diverse spectrum, both racially and ethnically, which is the case of the American public and the case of Type 2 Diabetes.
In this study it was showed that lifestyle changes (diet and exercise) reduced the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes similarly in every ethnic and racial group, although Hispanics have a higher risk (90%) of developing Type 2 Diabetes as well as people of color or African-American (60%) in comparison to white Americans.
It is also very encouraging that in the study sub-group of adults over 60, dietary modifications from lifestyle intervention and increased physical activity, had a better effect than in any other sub-group. American adults over 60 have an increased risk (20%) of developing Type 2 Diabetes.