For diabetes risk, a little weight loss can do a lot

For diabetes risk, a little weight loss can do a lot

When it comes to weight loss and lowering the risk of Type 2 diabetes, losing a little can mean a lot. New research show dropping just four to nine pounds can cut your risk by almost half.

Researchers in the United Kingdom say combining increased physical activity with modest weight loss can sometimes be enough to nudge people with prediabetes back toward better health metrics.

Their results are based on a clinical trial of more than 1,000 people with prediabetes who were at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Over a two-year period, the weight loss and lifestyle changes led to a diabetes risk reduction of about 45%. The findings were reported in a Journal of the American Medical Association publication.

The researchers said the outcomes are based on a “real-world” lifestyle program that emphasizes modest but continuing and permanent weight loss. More than 10% of those who participated in the study’s prediabetes intervention lowered their risk of getting Type 2 diabetes — a figure the researchers said was particularly encouraging.

In developed countries where rates of Type 2 diabetes are exploding, the appeal of a gradual and accomplishable program that pulls people back from the brink of disease are especially compelling. The American Diabetes Association reports as many as 88 million people in the United States have prediabetes, and 1.5 million new cases are diagnosed every year.

Type 2 diabetes is a very serious health condition, but the research indicates that simply shedding a few pounds and moving more can help you lower your risk. As health goals go, those are pretty achievable.

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