PREVIEW Study Confirms Lifestyle Changes Can Prevent Type 2 Diabetes,
But Half Dropped Out of Study
PREVIEW is the largest randomized control trial (gold standard of clinical trials) to date on the prevention of type 2 diabetes in adults with prediabetes through diet and exercise. Participants were in one of four groups:
1) high protein, low-glycemic index (GI) diets + moderate physical activity,
2) high-protein, low-GI diets + high-intensity physical activity,
3) moderate protein, moderate-GI diets + moderate physical activity, and 4) moderate protein, moderate-GI diets + high-intensity physical activity.
After three years, just 4% of those who remained in the study were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
There were no differences between diets or exercise regimes. Researchers estimated that without any intervention, about 21% would have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Dr. Ian MacDonald believes that the comparable results across the four groups was due to the initial and sustained weight loss throughout the trial. Before people were randomly assigned to a group, everyone was put on a low-calorie diet, with an average weight loss of 23 lbs (10.7 kg) from an average starting weight of 220 lbs (100 kg).
Lifestyle change, however, is notoriously difficult to keep up. Only 43% of the participants initially enrolled in PREVIEW completed the three-year program, highlighting the importance of coaching and support.
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