The New England Journal of Medicine–the U.S.’s most prestigious weekly publication–reported 18 months ago that lifestyle change was more effective than medication in preventing diabetes.
The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) tested intensive lifestyle changes against metformin (Glucophage) for 18 months to try to prevent diabetes. Participants got 16 sessions one-on-one for 6 months; then monthly; then at least every other month in group; then mail or phone contact in the alternate months. This is how the Executive Program for Weight Loss can be structured too, though it is twice as intensive and always one-on-one.
In women with children but no history of gestational diabetes, lifestyle interventions prevented or delayed type 2 diabetes 3.5 times more effectively than metformin. But lifestyle and medication were equally effective for women with gestational diabetes. Nearly 2000 women were studied.
Type 2 diabetes has tripled in the U.S. in the last 30 years. Adults with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or greater have five times the risk of diabetes than people with a normal BMI, which is less than 25. Calculate your BMI, free.
These results are even more impressive as DPP is funded not just by the NIH and CDC, but also the ADA and by several pharmaceutical companies–Bristol Myers Squibb, Merck, Hoechst. An excellent Q and A about how lifestyle change works in diabetes and for whom is online.
Diabetes is a preventable disease. You can prevent it, and if you have it already, you can control it, especially if you are overweight. Learn how.