A small study of people from South Asian backgrounds shows that early intervention with detailed and culturally appropriate lifestyle advice leads to modest but important lifestyle changes that can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The study was carried out by Edinburgh University and monitored 171 participants of Indian and Pakistani descent over 3 years. The participants selected were already at a high risk of developing the metabolic condition.
The study participants were advised in detail about how they can use diet and exercise to manage their weight. The advice given was more detailed than usual, was family centred and was tailored to be specific to South Asian culture.
The results of the more focused and appropriate advice is that the participants were able to reduce their waist and hip measurements and indicated a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes in future.
The research shows what is possible when people at high risk of diabetes are given appropriate time with healthcare professionals such as dietitians and are given lifestyle advice appropriate for their culture and existing lifestyle.
Whilst the research only focused on people from the South Asian community, it suggests that if a wider cross section of the community at risk of risk of type 2 diabetes were also given more focused care and advice, that took into account factors which should include economic capabilities, similar improvements would likely be seen.

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