SATURDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- Dietary changes alone can yield the same benefits as changes in both diet and exercise in the first year after a person is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, a new study contends.
English researchers found that patients who were encouraged to lose weight by modifying their diet with the help of a dietician had the same improvements in blood sugar (glycemic) control, weight loss, cholesterol and triglyceride levels as those who changed both their diet and physical activity levels (30 minutes of brisk walking five times a week).
Both groups achieved about a 10 percent improvement in blood sugar control, cholesterol and triglyceride levels compared to patients who received routine care. The two intervention groups also lost an average of 4 percent of their body weight, while those in a routine care group had little or no weight loss.
Patients in the routine care group were also three times more likely than those in the intervention groups to start on diabetes medication before the end of the study.
"Getting people to exercise is quite difficult, and can be expensive," lead researcher Rob Andrews, a senior lecturer at the University of Bristol, said in an American Diabetes Association news release. "What this study tells us is that if you only have a limited amount of money, in that first year of diagnosis, you should focus on getting the diet right."
He pointed out, however, that the study participants with type 2 diabetes preferred to engage in both exercise and dietary changes. "They found diet alone quite negative," he said. One reason they might not have seen an additional benefit from exercise, he added, "is because people often make a trade. That is, if they go to the gym, then they feel as if they can have a treat. That could be why we saw no difference in the weight loss for the diet plus exercise group."
Andrews suggested that future research focus on determini
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