Recent Study Reports How to Prevent Diabetes


A recent six-year study from China reports that exercise and diet helped to prevent diabetes and lowered death rates for high-risk people.  In addition, the report suggests that death rates are particularly lower for women when they adhere to lifestyle changes consisting of modifications in diet and increased physical activity.  Dr. Guangwei Lia, of China-Japan Friendship Hospital, and head of the Da Qing Diabetes Prevention Study, declares that with the rapid economic development in countries all over the world, a rise in the prevalence of diabetes is inevitable.

Study reports exercise and diet helps to prevent diabetes

In 1986, Dr. Guangwei Lia and other contributors initiated the Da Qing Diabetes Prevention Study in an attempt to see if they could help prevent diabetes and delay this disease from developing in the study participants.  The first study began in Da Qing, China with 568 participants.  Researchers recruited participants with higher than normal blood sugar levels, but levels just short of a diabetes diagnosis.  Researchers randomly placed participants in a comparison group or intervention group.  The groups comprised of diet plus exercise, exercise, or diet.

In an attempt to help prevent diabetes, researchers for the diet intervention group tried to help overweight people reduce their weight; for people who were at a normal weight, cutting down the quantity of carbohydrates and alcohol they consumed was the goal of the contributors of the study.  Participants of the exercise program were to enhance the amount of leisure time spent being active.

Researchers completed the research project in 1992.  In each intervention group, the findings showed participants reduced their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.  Recently, researchers followed up by searching medical records and death certificates of the participants to see if changes in lifestyle made in the first study influenced the development of mortality rates or diabetes for the participants later in their life.

Benefits of exercise and diet in preventing heart disease

Based on the results of this study, researchers found participants who took active action reduced their risk of death or cardiovascular disease.  That is, exercise and diet helped to prevent diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and death.

When compared to men of this study, women participants benefited disproportionally greater.  However, data lacks the participants’ lifestyle habits.  Perhaps, women participated more by applying greater effort, increased their activity, adhered to a healthier diet, or followed the assigned curriculum with greater precision when compared to men in this research study.  Nonetheless, the report contends physical activity and healthy diets decrease the likelihood of procuring long-term health risks.

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George Zapo, CPH
George Zapo, CPH is certified in Public Health Promotion & Education. George focuses on writing informative articles promoting healthy behavior and lifestyles. Read more of George's articles at his website: