Healthy Lifestyle Choices Linked to Dramatically Lower Type 2 Diabetes Risk and Complications
A large meta-analysis published in the journal Diabetologia found that an overall healthy lifestyle was associated with a substantially lower risk for developing type 2 diabetes, and also with a lower risk of long-term adverse outcomes among individuals who already had diabetes. Results from 16 studies which included over a million participants were analyzed to examine the association of lifestyle choices with prevention of diabetes, and ten studies with over 34,000 participants looked at lifestyle’s relationship to death and cardiovascular disease in people with diabetes. Participants with the healthiest lifestyle had a 75 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, compared with those with the least-healthy lifestyle. Among people with diabetes, adopting the healthiest lifestyle was associated with a 31 to 56 percent lower risk of death and a 52 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
While this study cannot prove cause and effect, it does provide additional support for adhering to a healthy lifestyle (maintaining a healthy body weight, consuming a healthy diet, exercising daily for at least 30 minutes, avoiding smoking, and limiting alcohol consumption) as a sensible approach to prevent and manage of type 2 diabetes.