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ADA: Dietary Support Helps Type 2 Diabetes Outcomes

Intense diet intervention improves glycemic control, but exercise does not offer more benefits

MONDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with type 2 diabetes, intensive dietary intervention introduced soon after diagnosis improves glycemic control, but increased activity appears to confer no additional benefit, according to a study published online June 25 in The Lancet to coincide with the American Diabetes Association's 71st Scientific Sessions, held from June 24 to 28 in San Diego.

Rob C. Andrews, Ph.D., from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, and colleagues analyzed the impact of diet and physical activity on blood pressure and glucose concentrations in 593 adults, aged 30 to 80 years, diagnosed with type 2 diabetes five to eight months earlier. Ninety-nine individuals were assigned to usual care, including initial dietary consultation and follow-up every six months; 248 to an intensive diet intervention with dietary consultation every three months and monthly nurse support; and 246 to the same diet intervention plus pedometer-based activity. Improvements in glycated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) concentration and blood pressure at six months were the main outcomes studied.

The investigators found that glycemic control worsened in the usual-care group at six months (mean baseline HbA1c percentage, 6.72, and at six months, 6.86), but was significantly improved in the diet and diet-plus-activity groups (baseline-adjusted difference in percentage of HbA1c, −0.28 and −0.33 percent, respectively). Even with less use of diabetes drugs, these findings were sustained for 12 months. Body weight and insulin resistance improved more in the intervention groups than the control group, but there was no difference in blood pressure between the groups.

"An intensive diet intervention soon after diagnosis can improve glycemic control," the authors write. "The addition of an activity intervention conferred no additional benefit."

Two of the study authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries.

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