Losing 15 per cent body fat could reverse type 2 diabetes, Irish researchers say

Jack Woodfield
Tue, 15 May 2018
Losing 15 per cent body fat could reverse type 2 diabetes, Irish researchers say
Losing just 15% body weight could be enough to put type 2 diabetes into remission, researchers have said.

A team from the Irish Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (IrSPEN) reports that losing 15% body weight - irrespective of the person's Body Mass Index (BMI) at the start - can lead to type 2 diabetes remission.

IrSPEN has released the guidance ahead of European Obesity Day on Saturday 19 May, which brings together healthcare, patient and political communities to improve prevention and treatment for obesity, which is significantly linked with type 2 diabetes.

IrSPEN says their findings are based on several studies including the DiRECT trial, which was published recently in The Lancet, where almost half of type 2 diabetes participants managed to achieve and maintain remission at one year after adopting a calorie-restricted diet.

Now, IrSPEN is now advocating the benefits of weight loss for people with type 2 diabetes, regardless of whether their BMI is above or below 30 - the marker classified as being obese - because doing so has clear benefits.

The society says that achieving 15% weight loss in people with type 2 diabetes could also save up to £440 per person per year in direct Irish healthcare costs.

Professor Carel le Roux from irSPEN, said: "This year's theme of the European Obesity day is 'Tackling Obesity Together' as it is now apparent that there is no single silver bullet, but rather that multiple approaches have to be used to optimally treat patients who have complications of obesity.

"For people living with diabetes as a result of obesity, the disease usually requires the combination of specialist diets, specialist exercise and medication and or surgical treatments.

"Not every patient responds equally to these treatments. However, reversal of complications such as diabetes can be achieved in two in 10 people with the use of specialist diets, another three in 10 with medication and another five in 10 with surgical treatments."

Editor's note: Thousands of people have lost weight and in some cases put their type 2 diabetes into remission from following Diabetes.co.uk's pioneering Low Carb Program, which shows users how to reduce their HbA1c levels and enjoy eating healthily.

People with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes who complete the program sustainably lose an average of 7kg after one year, and more than 40% of people with type 2 diabetes who start the program on medication eliminate a medication at the one-year mark.
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