Sugar Matters
July 20, 2010
Big annual meeting continued – More in praise of diet and exercise

Sometimes a research study doesn’t bring in a new idea, but simply adds strength to a great one. There were a few discussions devoted to the role of diet and exercise in diabetes, and one seminar was specially singled out to discuss the HELP-PD study: Help Prevent Diabetes study.{{more}} This was specifically a research study about how lifestyle changes, meaning not including medications, can change the outcome of folks thought to be high risk for developing diabetes. It is quite similar to the Diabetes Prevention Trial completed a few years ago-you remember that one right? We have discussed it several times in this column. Well one of the criticisms of that trial was that even though it showed great results with folks losing weight etc, they had a lot of help through dieticians, counseling week after week etc.

This HELP-PD study is different in that the counseling was done by community educators, not specialized nutritionists, and they had regular but not weekly contact with the participants. It was set up much more similarly to “real life” if you will. The people in the study were all over age 21, were overweight, and had fasting glucose levels between 95-125-so these are not people who already had diabetes, but they were thought to be at risk for DEVELOPING diabetes because of their weight and glucose values.


So what happened here? The participants were told, and aimed for, a decrease in calories daily of between 500-1000. So yes, they were on a diet. The goal was to lose about a pound a week, for a total of 7% body weight loss overall. They measured weight, waist circumference and fasting glucose at the end of the research study. What do you think the result was?

Of course, those who had some guidance and information from their community health workers had success overall, losing weight, waist becoming smaller, lowering their blood sugars, AND DECREASING THE NUMBER OF NEWLY DIAGNOSED DIABETICS. While the actual result was not surprising, it did serve to cement this idea that with dedicated dieting, weight loss and education, even without someone calling you every week to check up on you, success can be had in stopping diabetes from developing.

Did you hear that???


So yes, while this news was not new, it did help to further strengthen our resolve to push for dietary changes and goals for weight loss, and losing some of that belly fat. Because it is now shown AGAIN, to decrease your chances of diabetes.

More next week. Until then, stay safe and healthy Vincies!

Anita Ramsetty, MD [email protected]
Medical Director Endocrine Care Group
Tel: 843-798-4227