Although Difficult to Maintain, Weight Loss Makes Difference in Type 2 Diabetes

Dorian Martin Health Guide
  • The good news – researchers continue to determine that weight loss is a good way to cause type 2 diabetes to go into remission. The bad news – it’s really hard to maintain the weight loss.


    Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted an observational analysis of a four-year randomized controlled trial with 4,503 adults from the United States who, on average, were 59 years of age. Each participant had a body mass index of 25 and had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes for approximately five years. The study had slightly more women involved as participants. The average body-mass index for all participants was 36, which placed them into the obese category.

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    Participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group received intensive lifestyle intervention with a diabetes support. This group received weekly group and individual counseling in the first six months of the study, followed by three monthly sessions for the second six months. They also received twice-monthly contact and regular refresher information and campaigns in years 2-4. The researchers also worked with the participants to set target weight and physical goals, as well as goals for daily caloric intake of 1,200-1,800 calories. Additionally, liquid meal replacements were provided as requested.
    The other group participated in an education control condition intervention, which offered three group sessions per year on diet, physical activity and social support.


    The researchers found that the group that had the intensive lifestyle intervention lost significantly more weight,  had greater fitness increases than the other group in year 1 and by year 4, and were able to reduce the amount of diabetes medication they were taking. In addition, this group was significantly more likely to experience some level of remission from type 2 diabetes.  


    However, the researchers also found that fewer than two percent of the study participants were able to achieve complete remission.  Their analysis determined that after reaching partial remission, about 33 percent of the participants in the lifestyle intervention group relapsed and had type 2 diabetes each year.


    “Identifying cost-effective strategies to manage diabetes is essential because diabetes is responsible for more than $116 billion in direct medical care costs, or 5% of all US health care spending,” wrote Dr. David Arterburn and Dr. Patrick O’Connor in an editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association.


    Besides the expense, there’s also the potential for serious health consequences. According to PubMed Health, compilations from type 2 diabetes can include vision issues (night blindness, light sensitivity and blindness);l skin sores and infections; amputation of the foot or leg; difficulty controlling blood pressure and cholesterol; risk of heart attack and stroke; nerve damage; difficulty digesting food; urinary problems; and kidney damage.


    Therefore, it’s really important to get type 2 diabetes under control. This condition, which is a chronic disease in which there are high levels of sugar in the blood, is the most common form of diabetes. Your fat, liver and muscle cells do not respond correctly to the sugar, which is known as insulin. This disease usually occurs slowly over time, according to PubMed Health.  This disease is often diagnosed in people who are overweight, although it can develop in thin people as well. The disease also is most commonly diagnosed in older people.  “Family history and genes play a large role in type 2 diabetes,” PubMed Health stated. “Low activity, poor diet, and excess body weight around the waist increase your risk.” Early symptoms can include: infections of the bladder, kidney or skin that are more frequent or heal slowly; fatigue; hunger; increased thirst; increased urination; blurred vision, erectile dysfunction; and pain or numbness in the feet or hands.


  • Primary Sources for This Sharepost:

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    Arterburn, D. E., & O’Connor, P. J. (2012). A look ahead at the future of diabetes prevention and treatment. The Journal of the American Medical Association.


    Gregg, E. W. (2012). Association of an intensive lifestyle intervention with remission of type 2 diabetes. The Journal of the American Medical Association.


    MedlinePlus. (2012). Intensive lifestyle changes keep type 2 diabetes at bay.


    PubMed Health. (2011). Type 2 diabetes.

Published On: December 19, 2012