Modest weight loss halves risk of type 2 diabetes

Helping people with pre-diabetes achieve modest weight loss through small changes to their lifestyle, diet and physical activity can almost halve their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

These are the findings of the largest diabetes prevention research study in the world in the last 30 years – the Norfolk Diabetes Prevention Study (NDPS).

About the research

Conducted by Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) and University of East Anglia (UEA), the study ran over eight years and involved 1,000 people with pre-diabetes at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

It found that making small lifestyle changes, like losing two to three kilos and increasing physical activity, reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by 40 to 47 percent.

Impact of pre-diabetes

There are about eight million people with pre-diabetes in the UK and 4.5 million live with type 2 diabetes. In Australia, two million people live with pre-diabetes and almost 1.3 million have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Small changes can have big results

The study tested lifestyle changes that led to a modest weight loss and increased physical activity. The changes were sustained for at least two years and the weight was not put back on.

These findings show that  “real-world” lifestyle program can make a difference and help people reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes.

Professor Mike Sampson, NDPS Chief Investigator said: “We’re delighted with the results of this trial. Until now no one was sure if a lifestyle program like this would help people with pre-diabetes, as no clinical trials had shown this.”

We can now be very optimistic that programs helping with modest weight loss and increased exercise reduce the risk of getting Type 2 diabetes.

This is really great news for the millions of people living with pre-diabetes diagnosis.

Check your risk and take action

If you’ve been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, this approach offers a way to take a different direction – to get off the path to type 2 diabetes and onto the road to a healthier future.

Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition, but with the right help many cases can be prevented or delayed.

Check your risk for type 2 diabetes with our risk calculator or find out more about our exercise and lifestyle program Beat it. Making small changes to your lifestyle can have a big impact on your health and wellbeing.

Join our community of over 33,000 people living with diabetes