Intensive weight loss programs may benefit obese individuals at risk of developing type 2 diabetes

Losing weight and improving fitness may be among the most important things that overweight individuals can do to avoid developing type 2 diabetes, which is a potentially devastating condition.

While making significant lifestyle changes may be difficult, a recent study which will be published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found that it is possible.

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh assigned 130 overweight and obese individuals to participate in a 12-month program that asked them to significantly increase their activity levels and improve their diet.

A total of 78 percent of the participants finished the full program. They lost between 22 and 28 pounds, lowered blood pressure and insulin resistance and reduced their waist circumference, visceral abdominal fat and liver fat content.

"Intensive lifestyle interventions using a behavior-based approach can result in clinically significant and meaningful weight loss and improvements in cardiometabolic risk factors in severely obese persons," the authors wrote in their report. "Serious consideration should be given by healthcare systems to incorporating more intensive lifestyle interventions similar to those used in our study."
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