Researchers across Europe are to investigate which exercise and diet plans offer the best protection against type 2 diabetes in people at high risk of the metabolic disorder.
At the end of the year, a three-year study will be launched in an attempt to find out what the best ways to eat, drink and keep fit are for people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
“We would like to find out if our current dietary and exercise recommendations are optimal or whether another lifestyle and regimen is more effective,” explained Professor Anne Rabe, the project’s chief coordinator at the University of Copenhagen.
“It could save billions in health care costs for society if we are able to find a formula for how to best prevent Type 2 diabetes.”
Eight countries, including the UK, will be involved in the study which will see 2,300 adult and 200 teenage at-risk participants follow a specific lifestyle programmen, based on one of two healthy, balanced diet plans and one of two fitness regimes.
Volunteers will either be put on a high carbohydrate, high fibre and moderate protein diet, or one that includes high protein intake but less and more slowly absorbed carbohydrates.
For fitness, participants will either do moderate exercise, such as 150 minutes a week of brisk walking, or high-intensity exercise such as jogging/running for 75 minutes a week.
Professor Raben added: “We already know that a diet which follows current dietary guidelines can prevent diabetes. What’s unique about this project is that we are testing two diets against one another to find out if there might be a more effective alternative.”
“We will include two types of exercise to determine if there is one that is more suitable. Finally we will also study the importance of stress and sleeping patterns.”
The first-of-its-kind study will be jointly run by the University of Nottingham and Swansea University.

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