Diabetic? Long walks do the trick - The Borneo Post - Monday June 24 2002

SAN FRANCISCO: People with type 2 diabetes who have the freedom to choose their own diets within certain guidelines, who follow an aggressive exercise regimen and are monitored by a registered dietician can achieve and maintain significant weight loss and maintain metabolic control, according to a study by University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine researchers.

The study, "Efficacy of Self-Selected Diet in Achieving Weight Loss and Metabolic Control in Type 2 Diabetes," was presented at the American Diabetes Association's 62nd Scientific Sessions here. The one-year intervention study enrolled 52 overweight (mean weight of 220 lbs.) adults with type 2 diabetes who were not taking insulin . Durirrg the study they were taken off of all of their diabetes medicines. Their goal was to lose seven per cent of their baseline weight during the study period.

"The diet focused on reducing fat sand calories. The exercise program consisted of walking, which gradually increased to 45 minutes a day for five to six days each week," said Pat Harper, R.D. principal investigator of the study from the division of endocrinology at the University of' Pittsburgh School of Medicine. "All participants made weekly visits to a registered dietician." In a random double-blind method, partcipants also took either Orlistat or a placebo. Orlistat is an FDA approved drug to help people lose weight.

After six months, the participants lost an average of 10 per cent of their baseline weight and their blood sugar levels went down an average of 45 milligrams. At the end of one year, the 39 participants who completed the program still maintained an average loss of 8.5 per cent of their baseline weight.