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Diabetes study: 'Mindful eating' equals traditional education in lowering weight and blood sugar
Date:11/8/2012

diagnosis, common complications (which include heart disease, kidney and nerve damage, eye problems and stroke), the importance of blood sugar control, and appropriate food choices when blood sugar levels spike. Every session included a medical nutrition therapy discussion such as calorie-intake goals, percentages of carbohydrates and fats in an ideal diet, and portion control. Many sessions included a 15- to 20-minute walk to further emphasize the recommendation for regular physical activity. Problem-solving regarding choosing healthy foods in high-risk situations, such as the holidays, were a focus of the program.

The interventions took place over three months. Researchers assessed participants' health measures and dietary habits immediately after the programs concluded and then again three months later at the study's end.

Weight loss and improvements in HbA1c levels were similar for both groups at the six-month follow-up point. Smart Choice participants as a group lost more weight, an average of 6 pounds, than did the mindful eating group, which lost an average of 3.5 pounds but the difference was not significant when analyzed statistically, Miller said.

HbA1c levels dropped in both groups as well, by between about 0.7 and 0.8 percent. "That was a clinically meaningful reduction in Hba1c, equivalent to what you would get on some diabetes medications," Miller said. "If the reduction were sustained over time, it would mean a dramatic reduction in complications associated with diabetes."

Both groups also similarly reduced calorie intake and lowered their consumption of foods with a high glycemic index, which are digested quickly and can drive up blood sugar.

Miller said that because nutrition education is particularly important to people with a new diabetes diagnosis, she sees the mindful meditation and eating option as a potential supplement to basic diabetes education that patients need.

She also said that p
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Contact: Carla Miller
CMiller@ehe.osu.edu
614-292-1391
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

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