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November 2020

Modest weight loss reduces diabetes risk

Losing just a few kilograms in weight almost halves the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to the large-scale Norfolk Diabetes Prevention Study.

NDPS has been running for 8 years, and involved more than 1,000 people at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

It found that making lifestyle changes including losing 2-3 kgs of weight, and increasing physical activity for over two years reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by between 40 and 47% for patients with prediabetes. Importantly, the changes were sustained for at least two years and weight lost was not regained.

Earlier studies have used a more intensive and expensive intervention to reduce the development of type 2 diabetes or to reverse the diagnosis.

Prof Jonathan Valabhji, National Clinical Director for Diabetes and Obesity for NHS England, said: ‘This study with similar referral criteria and a similar intensive lifestyle intervention to the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme has surpassed expectations in preventing type 2 diabetes. This is hugely encouraging for the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, and what participants might expect to achieve in the longer term.’

Sampson M, et al. JAMA Intern Med 2020 Nov 2. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.5938

Practice Nurse 2020;50(9):8