Modest weight loss may provide long-term health benefits to obese patients with type 2 diabetes, according to new research presented on June 24, 2013, at the American Diabetes Association’s annual scientific meeting.
Researchers worked with 5145 obese diabetes patients, half of whom were assigned to an intensive diet and exercise program in which they attended individual and group meetings and were taught strategies for weight loss. The other half received a general program of diabetes education and support several times a year.
Patients in the intensive diet and exercise group lost ~8.6% of their starting weight after 1 year and maintained a 6% weight loss at the end of the 10-year study. Those in the general education group lost 1% of their weight within the first year and 3.5% by the end of the study. Compared with those in the education group, those in the intensive group had improved hemoglobin A1C levels, had higher HDL levels, and took less diabetes medication. Participants in the intensive group were also 31% less likely to develop chronic kidney disease than those in the education group.