Lifestyle and Type II diabetes
January 2007 - New research from Leicester published in the British Medical Journal has found that changing to a healthier lifestyle appears to be at least as effective as taking prescribed drugs in reducing the risk of developing Type II diabetes.
Researchers explain that global rates of Type II diabetes are likely to double by 2030; approximately 1.3 million people in England have been diagnosed and around 5 per cent of total NHS resources are used for the care of people with this condition. Preventive interventions therefore have an important role in public health policies.
Researchers reviewed studies comparing the effect of different interventions such as lifestyle changes and medication for diabetes or obesity on people with impaired glucose tolerance and at thus at highest risk of developing Type II diabetes.
They found that adopting a healthier diet and increasing exercise was at least as effective as taking prescribed drugs. On average, such changes helped to reduce the risk of developing Type II diabetes by about 50 per cent. Lifestyle changes also carry less risk of adverse side-effects.
The report recommends more support for people adopting healthier lifestyles and concludes that both this approach and prescription drugs are necessary elements in the prevention of Type II diabetes.