Diabetes Research Roundup: Exercise; Diet; Productivity; And More
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently identified diabetes as one of the top 7 causes of death worldwide. Unfortunately, this isn’t much of a surprise since over a hundred million people in the U.S. are living with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. The good news is that research continues to come out relating to diabetes, in an effort to gain understanding, and ultimately, prevent this chronic condition.
To stay in the know about the latest in diabetes studies, findings and implications, dive into our research roundup:
Exercise and diabetes:
Sedentary lifestyles: The research team at Liverpool University recently found that having a sedentary lifestyle at work, consisting of sitting at a desk all day and driving to work, can increase risk of diabetes in just two weeks. The study went on to note that risks can be lessened by subtle lifestyle changes, like taking the stairs and getting off the bus at an earlier stop.
Diabetes prevention: British researchers found that nearly 20% of people with prediabetes in China may have avoided a type 2 diabetes diagnosis if they had exercised more. The study showed that compared to inactive participants, those with prediabetes who did high-volume physical activity saw a 25% reduction in type 2 diabetes risk. The low and moderate activity participants showed 12% and 20% reductions in diabetes risk compared to the inactive participants, averaging almost 20% in total.
Diet and diabetes:
Controlled diets: This 20-week study found that patients with type 2 diabetes who followed either a vegan or portion-controlled diet and participated in weekly group nutrition classes saw reductions in metrics relating to diabetes—including BMI, LDL and A1C levels. The vegan plan excluded animal products and added oils and favored low-glycemic index foods. The portion-controlled diet included calorie limits (typically a deficit of 500 calories/day) and provided guidance on portion sizes.
Fast food: Scientists from the New York University School of Medicine found that type 1 diabetes was more prevalent in areas of New York City with more fast food restaurants. The findings went on to show that higher rates of type 2 diabetes existed in areas with more junk food. This study notes the suggested impact food environments could have on diabetes prevalence.
Productivity and diabetes:
Impact on productivity: A recent study of an Australian dataset suggested that diabetes hurts productivity and could be costing the country billions of dollars. The study calculated a decrease in productivity by 10% and projected that if diabetes did not exist, Australia’s GDP could improve by about $60.6 billion. Find out what this could mean for the U.S.
Late hours: Boston scientists suggested that shift workers are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, regardless of genetics. The study found that frequent shift work, particularly at night, increases type 2 diabetes risk factors, no matter the genetic predisposition.
This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.