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Weight loss, regular exercise may preserve mobility among obese adults with Type 2 diabetes

Overweight or obese adults with Type 2 diabetes may be able to reduce their risk of disability by more than half by lowering their weight and increasing their fitness level, according to research scheduled to be published tomorrow in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The multi-center, randomized clinical trial, which was led by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, was designed to determine the long-term effects of intentional weight loss on the risk of developing cardiovascular disease in overweight and obese individuals with Type 2 diabetes.

During the trial, a total of 5,145 participants were randomly assigned to either an intensive lifestyle intervention program or a diabetes support and education program, according to a National Institutes of Health release. Volunteers assigned to the intervention program attended group and individual meetings to achieve and maintain weight loss through reduced caloric intake and increased physical activity. Members in the diabetes support and education group attended three meetings each year where they were provided with general education on diet, activity, and social support.

Health Day reports:

At the end of four years, those in the lifestyle intervention group had a 48 percent reduction in mobility-related disability compared to the support group.

Almost 39 percent of the lifestyle intervention group reported good mobility at the end of the study compared to 32 percent of those in the support group, according to the study.

For every reduction of 1 percent of body weight, there was a 7.3 percent reduction in the risk of mobility disability. For every 1 percent improvement in fitness, there was a 1.4 percent drop in the risk of mobility disability. But, [lead author W. Jack Rejeski, PhD,] pointed out that doing both interventions is best for your overall health.

Previously: More than three-quarters of Americans projected to be overweight, obese by 2020 and CDC report shows exercise becoming a popular prescription among doctors
Photo by Robert Anthony Provost

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