Diabetes Prevention with Weight Loss

Study: Addressing Diabetes Prevention with Weight Loss

A key goal of well-run workplace wellness programs is to help address diabetes concerns among employees (as we’ve reported here, here, and here).

Now MedPage Today reports that “maintaining stable weight and loss of weight were each strongly associated with a decreased risk for diabetes among middle-aged adults, a new study found.”

In fact, “the researchers predicted that about 20% of new diabetes cases could be prevented if adulthood weight was maintained within one body mass index (BMI) point, or within 3% of total weight.”

The study, published in BMC Public Health Journal, is titled “Impact of weight maintenance and loss on diabetes risk and burden: a population-based study in 33,184 participants.”

Background: “Weight loss in individuals at high risk of diabetes is an effective prevention method and a major component of the currently prevailing diabetes prevention strategies. The aim of the present study was to investigate the public health potential for diabetes prevention of weight maintenance or moderate weight loss on a population level in an observational cohort with repeated measurements of weight and diabetes status.”

The conclusion was clear: “Weight maintenance in adulthood is strongly associated with reduced incident diabetes risk and there is considerable potential for diabetes prevention in promoting this as a whole population strategy.”

The authors add: “We have also shown that as many as 1 in 5 diabetes cases could be prevented if, at a population level, weight was maintained in adulthood. While primary weight maintenance in adulthood is challenging, it should be considered in contrast to the even more difficult challenge of weight loss and subsequent secondary weight maintenance. The potential of primary weight maintenance in reducing diabetes risk and burden is an important public health message, and a population-based approach to promote primary weight maintenance (reduce or prevent weight gain in middle age) is desirable as a complement to targeting individuals at high risk.”

According to MedPage, the authors advocate a concerted effort to address the problem across multiple fronts: “The barriers and facilitators associated with primary weight maintenance are complex, and any effective approach will require changes to policy, environments, and healthcare systems, and to incorporate multiple levels and components.”