Shifting just a little bit of weight can nearly halve the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to new research.

A study carried out across eight years involving more than 1,000 people with prediabetes has discovered that just losing two to three kilograms of weight, reduced the type 2 risk by 40% to 47 %.

The findings of the Norfolk Diabetes Prevention Study (NDPS), thought to be the largest global diabetes prevention research study in the last 30 years, has been published in the JAMA Internal Medicine.

The trial involved introducing a simple lifestyle intervention to people. The changes included losing weight and increasing exercise levels.

Professor Mike Sampson, NDPS Chief Investigator and Consultant in Diabetes at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH), said: “We are delighted with the results of this trial, as until now no one was very sure if a real-world lifestyle programme prevented type 2 diabetes in the prediabetes population we studied, as there have been no clinical trials that had shown this.

“We have now shown a significant effect in type 2 diabetes prevention, and we can be very optimistic that even a modest weight loss, and an increase in physical activity, in real world programmes like this have a big effect on the risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

“This is really great news for the eight million people in the UK with a prediabetes diagnosis. The results of this trial, show that diabetes prevention is possible in the same prediabetes populations being treated in the NHS national diabetes prevention programme. This is important to know, as the clinical methods for diagnosing diabetes and prediabetes have changed a lot in recent years.”

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