Losing Weight and Reducing Risk of Diabetes

Armen Hareyan's picture

Weight Loss and Diabetes

Which works best in fighting the risk factors for diabetes - exercise or diet?

It's a toss up, according to a new study by a Saint Louis University researcher who is a member of a Washington University team of scientists examining whether a calorie-restrictive diet can extend people's lifespan.

"Both diet and exercise provide profound benefits to reduce the risk of diabetes. Both those who restrict calories and those who exercise benefit from weight loss," says Edward Weiss, Ph.D., lead author and assistant professor of nutrition and dietetics at Saint Louis University's Doisy College of Health Sciences.


"We thought exercise probably would produce greater benefits. But both of these are providing beneficial health improvements."

Weiss said the scientists looked at markers for developing diabetes because the disease is one of the main causes of premature death.

The researchers studied 50 to 60 year olds whose body mass index was between 23 and 30. That places them at the high end of normal weight or overweight, but not obese.

"People weren't way out of whack in terms of their body composition," Weiss says.

The study participants were divided into three groups