Diet and exercise combinations to counter type 2 diabetes

May 12, 2014 by Sorina Buzatu
Diet and exercise combinations to counter type-2 diabetes

Obesity puts people at risk of type-2 diabetes. But new research aims to find a combined diet-exercise prescription for keeping the optimal body weight, which may help prevent the disease.

Type-2 diabetes, which has dramatically spread in the last decade, is most often associated with being overweight and suffering from obesity. Moreover, nutritionists believe that inactive and sedentary lifestyles together with bad eating habits are the basis for weight gain. The EU-funded project, Preview, due to end in 2018, is looking at a combination of specific diets and physical activities as a way to prevent the incidence of this disease. Project coordinator Anne Raben, professor in obesity prevention and treatment at the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports of the Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, in Denmark talks to CommNet how her team is aiming to identify a prevention recipe for type-2 diabetes.

How are you going to conduct this research?

We have a large human intervention study where we recruit 2,500 people from Europe, New Zealand, and Australia, at high risk of developing diabetes. This includes children, adolescents, adults and elderly. It is a large three-year trial, during which we will be looking at different diets and physical activities. Furthermore, we have data from large population patterns in different cohorts from Europe, New Zealand and Canada, for epidemiological research. That's approximately 170 thousand people from all age groups. Here we look at the same end-points as in the .

What kind of diet and exercise combinations do you want to test?

We will test the effectiveness of two different diets combined with two different intensities. The diets are a moderate-protein and medium-glycaemic-index (GI) diet or a high-protein and low-GI diet. We will look at the impact and protein content in the diet. At how we can optimise it in order to get the best diet that can be then recommended for the treatment and prevention of type-2 diabetes. We will also look at the physical activity. So we will instruct people in a moderate or in a high intensity regime. Furthermore, the interaction with other life-style factors, such as habitual stress and sleeping pattern as well as behavioural, environmental, cultural, and socioeconomic variables, will be investigated.

What are the most significant risk factors for type-2 diabetes?

Those are being overweight and suffering from obesity. It is very difficult to prevent the overweight. Of course, it depends on what you eat and how much you eat. And how ready people are to lose weight. It is important to move one's body and to use your car less, for instance. It is also related to sleep. If you sleep too little or too much you are at risk of being overweight. And stress also plays a role. If you have a stressful life, that can increase the risk of becoming overweight.

What are the areas where our knowledge is limited?

There is an uncertainty regarding the types of food people eat. I think we do not know the best recipe for how to keep the best body weight. It seems that a high intake of protein may be more efficient, compared with carbohydrate and fat. We have to find out what is the best diet or the best physical exercise. Many recommendations tell the population to reduce intake of sucrose, fat, and high-density food items. This is probably still valid in order to decrease the risk of getting obese and develop type-2 diabetes.

Do you think you will be soon able to distinguish between various prevention programs for people at risk of developing type-2 diabetes?

Yes. We may see differences between the different diets and exercise interventions. But we may also conclude that there is no difference between them and that either regime is good.

Explore further: Proper diet and exercise to limit diabetes epidemic

Related Stories

Proper diet and exercise to limit diabetes epidemic

October 2, 2013

The number of diabetics worldwide is exploding. In response, the largest study of its kind to date is set to investigate type-2 diabetes prevention through diet, exercise and lifestyle. Eight EU nations, along with New Zealand, ...

Low-carbohydrate diet reduced inflammation

May 8, 2014

A low-carbohydrate diet, but not a low-fat diet, reduces inflammation in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to research at Linköping University in Sweden.

Lower fat content and exercise for the diet of adolescents

January 8, 2014

The prevalence of excess weight and obesity among adolescents and, as a result, the concomitant problems, has increased considerably in recent years. A study by the UPV/EHU has confirmed that, irrespective of the total calories ...

Recommended for you

Post-biotics may help shield obese from diabetes

April 20, 2017

You've heard of pre-biotics and pro-biotics, but now you'll be hearing a lot more about post-biotics. Researchers at McMaster University have begun to identify how post-biotics, or the by-products of bacteria, lower blood ...

Diabetes continues its relentless rise

April 13, 2017

(HealthDay)—Two new studies on diabetes deliver good and bad news, but the overall message is that the blood sugar disease remains a formidable public health burden.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.