Diabetes Prevention Programme: Giant Public Program To Lower People’s Blood-sugar Levels Really Works

Diabetes Prevention Programme: Giant Public Program To Lower People’s Blood-sugar Levels Really Works

Diabetes Prevention Programme: Giant Public Program To Lower People’s Blood-sugar Levels Really Works

A nationwide initiative to lower the risk of people developing diabetes in the United Kingdom has proven to be effective, according to the results of a new study by an international team of researchers.

The study, published in the journal Nature, examined the results of lifestyle changes promoted by the National Health Service’s (NHS) Diabetes Prevention Programme. The authors of the study found that exercise, weight management, blood sugar level control, and other positive lifestyle changes improved key factors that can lead to type 2 diabetes, a disease that develops when levels of blood glucose, also known as blood sugar, are too high.

“Our findings clearly demonstrate the huge benefits of intensive lifestyle counseling for improving the health of patients with pre-diabetes,” Justine Davies, a co-author of the study and a professor of Global Health Research at the University of Birmingham in England, said in a prepared statement. “The evidence also suggests a promising route for improving population health more broadly.”

The NHS reports around nine out of 10 people have type 2 diabetes while two million people in England are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. According to The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 38 million Americans, or 1 in 10, have diabetes, and approximately 90-95 percent of them have type 2 diabetes. Over time, type 2 diabetes can cause vision loss and blindness, and lead to kidney disease, kidney failure, heart attack, and stroke.

The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, which started in 2016, has been recognized as one of the most extensive behavioral change programs for prediabetes globally. People with prediabetes are referred to this nine-month program that offers lifestyle counseling on how to lose weight, set exercise goals, eat more healthily, and make other improvements. The educational program has in-person counseling and a digital service, which provides similar support but through digital tools, such as wearable technologies that monitor levels of exercise, apps that allow users to access health coaches, and online peer support groups. Participants can choose between the two programs.

The team of researchers from Germany, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States analyzed electronic health records of more than two million people in England who were at risk for diabetes. Of these, 26,513 were referred to the NHS diabetes program. Those who were referred to the program had positive changes in blood glucose levels, Body Mass Index, body weight, and blood pressure, according to the study.

The investigative team noted that general practitioners may be skeptical about the effectiveness of lifestyle counseling for successful behavior change based on their experience that brief counseling, which is often the only practical option in time-constrained consultations, may be of limited benefit.

“It appears that if implemented at scale, such a fairly intensive lifestyle intervention still does have important health benefits for patients with prediabetes,” said Pascal Geldsetzer, the senior author and an epidemiologist at Stanford University. “I think there is some skepticism among clinicians that providing lifestyle advice is often ineffective, but here we show that through a structured intensive program, it does have benefits.”

Because of their findings, the authors say their study “lends support” to investing in behavioral intervention programs for people at risk for developing diabetes.

“Investment in structured, intensive behaviour change programmes may help prevent development of type 2 diabetes whilst reducing the risk of complications from diabetes and cardiovascular events,” Julia Lemp, one of the lead authors of the research and a doctoral student at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, said in a statement. “Our results show beyond reasonable doubt that investments in programmes such as this should continue.”

Study: Eating Red Meat Twice A Week Raises Diabetes Risk

Burgers and steaks may be the best meats for grilling, but they may not be the best for your health. A new study led by researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that eating just two servings of processed and unprocessed red meat a week may increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. And, processed meats increased the risk more than unprocessed meat.

However, the study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that replacing red meat with plant-based proteins decreases the risk of diabetes.

“Our findings strongly support dietary guidelines that recommend limiting the consumption of red meat, and this applies to both processed and unprocessed red meat,” Xiao Gu, the study’s first author and a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Nutrition, said in a press release.

Besides beef, other varieties of red meats include lamb, pork, veal, venison, and goat. Processed meat is meat that has been preserved by smoking, curing, salting, or adding preservatives.

The Harvard investigative team analyzed data from 216,695 participants from the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS), NHS II, and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. The participants were given food frequency questionnaires every two to four years for up to 36 years. During this time, more than 22,000 participants developed type 2 diabetes.

Participants who ate the most red meat were 62 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared to those who consumed the least amount. The research further showed that every additional daily serving of processed red meat was associated with a 46 percent increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, compared to a 24 percent increased risk for every additional daily serving of unprocessed red meat.

The investigators also examined the effects of substituting one daily serving of red meat with nuts and legumes, another protein source. What the researchers found was a serving of nuts and legumes was associated with a 30 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes, and substituting a serving of dairy products was associated with a 22 percent lower risk.

In an interview with Fox News Digital, Gu said there is “abundant evidence” showing health benefits among people who consume the traditional Mediterranean diet, which limits red meat intake. The world-renowned Mediterranean diet focuses on eating such foods as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and legumes, and eating seafood and fish at least twice a week.

While Harvard researchers recommend eating red meat no more than two servings per week, Gu said “once would be better.”

“We would also suggest people replace red meat with healthy plant-based protein sources, such as nuts and legumes,” Gu told Fox News Digital. “Adopting this dietary strategy will help reduce individuals’ risk of developing type 2 diabetes and its consequences, which will ultimately improve the health and well-being of people worldwide.”

Source Links:

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-023-03524-2
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-023-06756-4.epdf?sharing_token=Xr121LjlWvl1aDMF_NRGKdRgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0PB8TV57OSSAtZrjmWfJ-rZqCJN1d8ZBqt5_onpGVQaa5RFnXdYkhfYRNus28KTL6beQAsB9M78PcndPPs0XDXcFHKcnePFG5on2whXxgVE_yRasJhCUF3XyGX9wdFe_sE=
https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/type2.html#:~:text=About%2038%20million%20Americans%20have,adults%20are%20also%20developing%20it.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2023/11/231115113357.htm
https://www.foxnews.com/health/diabetes-risk-may-double-eat-food-twice-week-harvard-researchers
https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/red-meat-consumption-associated-with-increased-type-2-diabetes-risk/

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