Researchers in the US have discovered that overweight and obese people with impaired glucose tolerance who achieved modest weight loss enjoyed the benefits for ten years.
The findings were presented at the American Psychological Association’s 120th Annual Convention and stressed the importance of a healthy lifestyle over medication to treat glucose tolerance issues.
Dr Rena Wing, professor of psychiatry and human behaviour at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School was on hand to explain the results.
She revealed the national study was carried out on 3,000 participants as part of her work for the Diabetes Prevention Program.
An average weight loss of 14 pounds reduced candidates’ chances of developing type-2 diabetes by 58 per cent, with the health benefits lasting for a decade regardless of whether the person regained the pounds.
Study participants were encouraged to make lifestyle choices like keeping a daily food diary to monitor what they ate as well as cutting down on the amount of junk food they normally consume.
This was complemented by a regular fitness regime led by a coach to help candidates raise their activity levels.
Dr Wing said: “Helping people find ways to change their eating and activity behaviours and developing interventions other than medication to reinforce a healthy lifestyle have made a huge difference.”
She added that weight loss of just ten per cent of a person’s total body weight has been proven to have a long-term impact on conditions like sleep apnea and hypertension.
It was also shown to have a positive impact on quality of life while reducing the effects of mobility decline, which occurs in old age.
This complements recent findings from Nottingham University, which indicated that brown fat could help us burn more calories as it works to heat up our bodies.