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Losing weight may help some resolve their diabetes
05.07.2012Not only does losing weight help obese individuals avoid developing diabetes, but new research suggests that those who already suffer from the metabolic condition may be able to completely resolve the disorder by shedding excess pounds.
Medical experts have long known that it is possible for people with diabetes to send their condition into remission. However, less was known about the specific effects of weight loss that make this improvement possible.
In the current study, researchers from the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Finland examined the health of groups of obese individuals. Participants ranged in weight from mildly obese to morbidly obese. Some of the group had diabetes at the study outset, while others did not. The researchers tracked participants' health over a period of 10 years.
The findings showed that 3.4 percent of participants with a body mass index over 40 who were able shed at least five BMI points developed diabetes. For comparison, 9.3 percent of participants with a similar BMI who did not lose weight developed diabetes.
Most interestingly, a significant portion of the participants who had diabetes from the start of the study were able to completely resolve their condition by losing five points on the BMI scale. This association existed regardless of the individual's starting BMI, suggesting that simply losing the weight is more important than getting weight down to an ideal level.
The researchers said that dropping five BMI points can be extremely difficult, as this represents a significant percentage of body weight for most people. However, many individuals may be able to achieve this goal with the help of healthcare and wellness programs.
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