Obese people with type 2 diabetes who maintain weight loss following an education programme continue to have improved HbA1c and cholesterol levels five years later, US research shows.
A new long-term analysis of the Why WAIT (Weight Achievement and Intensive Management) programme developed by the renowned Joslin Diabetes Center found that the lifestyle intervention led to significant health benefits.
The analysis, published in the BMJ Open Diabetes Research &Care journal, found that participants who lost either significant or modest amounts of weight reduced their risk of cardiovascular disease.
Those who lost more than seven per cent of their body weight after 12 months of the intervention were able to sustain weight loss, and keep normal HbA1c and cholesterol levels for five years.
A total of 129 people with an average Body Mass Index (BMI) of 38 – a BMI higher than 30 is considered obese – were tracked.
On average participants lost 24 pounds, or 9.7 per cent of their body weight, upon finishing the 12-week course and went on to maintain an average loss of 6.4 per cent, or 16 pounds at five years.
Those who lost more weight saw average HbA1c levels go from 7.4% to 6.4% at the 12-week mark and rise to 7.3% after five years. Those with limited weight loss saw HbA1c levels go from 7.5% to 6.7% following the programmen, before rising to 8% at the five-year point.
Medical director of Joslin’s obesity clinical program Professor Osama Hamdy, who is also assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, said: “This weight loss was very impressive, since we know from previous research that if this population can maintain a seven per cent weight loss, they show a marked improvement in insulin sensitivity and many other cardiovascular risk factors.”
“To the best of our knowledge, this is the longest follow-up in the real world of clinical practice to show encouraging results that weight loss can be achieved and maintained.”
In November, our Low Carb Program, which helps people with type 2 diabetes lower blood glucose levels and reduce medication dependency, won the Positive Social Impact Award at the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards UK 2016. On average, users have reduced their HbA1c by 12 mmol/mol (1.1%) after six months and reduced their waistline by 3.7 inches.

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