Regular physical activity is not as important as maintaining a healthy weight for reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, according to Australian researchers.
A study of nearly 30,000 people found that being physically fit might not offer protection against type 2 diabetes if you are already overweight.
Scientists at the University of Sydney discovered that people who were obese were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared to people of normal weight. These findings still existed regardless of physical activity and time spent not sitting.
“The findings of our study are clear; if you want to avoid developing type 2 diabetes, being physically active is not enough if you are also overweight or obese,” said researcher Thanh-Binh Nguyen.
“Those who were overweight and physically active had twice the risk of developing type 2 diabetes as people who were of normal weight, and less active. The odds of developing type 2 diabetes were even greater among people who were overweight or obese, and inactive.”
A total of 29,572 men and women who enrolled in the 45 and Up Study were evaluated, of whom 611 developed type 2 diabetes over a period of three years. The results were presented at the Sax Institute’s 45 and Up Study annual meeting in Sydney on Tuesday.
Nguyen and colleagues stressed that the best way to avoid developing type 2 diabetes is by eating a healthy diet alongside being physically active.
“Once you are overweight being physical active doesn’t help you that much in terms of preventing type 2 diabetes. It helps you if you can manage to reduce your weight, so it’s important to continue to be physically active and to adopt a healthy diet,” said the researchers.
To learn more about eating healthily, visit the Low Carb Program: a free online education course that can help teach you the benefits of eating a low-carb diet, such as weight loss and improved blood glucose levels.

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