Exercise helps with Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease where there is too much glucose in the blood. This can be either because the body cannot produce the insulin that helps convert the glucose into energy for cells (type 1 diabetes) or because the body develops resistance to insulin (type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease).
The reviewers also found that more intensive programs (for instance those that delivered more sessions, or gave more personal attention, or had more staff) were more effective. They led to greater weight loss and lower rates of diabetes than less intensive programs.
They found that compared with usual care, nearly all the diet and physical activity programs reduced incidence of type 2 diabetes, decreased body weight and fasting blood glucose, and improved other risk factors (such as blood pressure and cholesterol).
Altogether, the reviewers examined 53 studies evaluating a total of 66 programs. 30 of the studies compared diet and physical activity programs against usual care, 12 compared intensive versus less intensive programs, and 13 reviewed single programs.
The CPSTF say effective programs that promote diet changes and increased physical activity to reduce risk for type 2 diabetes have a number of elements, including:
The task force define being at risk for type 2 diabetes as having abnormally high levels of blood glucose but not high enough to be classed as type 2 diabetes. Classification can also be assessed using other validated predictive risk scores, they note.
As a result of the review – which provides “strong evidence of effectiveness” both in terms of clinical results and value for money – the CPSTF recommend combined diet and physical activity programs for people at increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
The review – which covers the clinical and economic effectiveness of such programs – was conducted by panels of government, academic, policy and practice-based scientists, who report their findings in a cluster of studies published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
These were the conclusions the Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) came to after overseeing a review of published evidence on whether diet and physical activity programs really help prevent or control type 2 diabetes.
Diet and exercise programs are cost-effective, help restore blood sugar to normal levels and reduce a number of other diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk factors, including being overweight and having high blood pressure and cholesterol.