#DoesItWorkSummary: Diet and Physical Activity for Prevention or Delay of Type 2 Diabetes

By Atanas G. Atanasov


Background: This #DoesItWorkSummary is based on the findings of a Cochrane Systematic Review published in December 2017 [1]. Diabetes mellitus affects around 150 million people worldwide, and this number is projected to double by the year 2025 [2]. Around 90% of all cases are type 2 diabetes, representing raised blood sugar levels as a result of the inability of the body to properly respond to insulin. Diabetes is a major cause of retinopathy resulting in blindness, life-threatening heart disease, renal damage and kidney failure, and foot ulceration often leading to limb amputation. People with “prediabetes” condition have moderately increased blood sugar and have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Diet and physical activity are believed to counteract the development of type 2 diabetes, and a systematic evaluation of the existing human trial data was performed to get overview for their efficacy for prevention or delay of type 2 diabetes in people with “prediabetes”.

DoesItWorkSummary Diet and Physical Activity for Prevention or Delay of Type 2 Diabetes Cochrane Systematic Review

Findings: Analyzed were 12 trials involving 5238 people [1]. There was good-strength evidence that diet combined with physical activity reduces or delays the development of type 2 diabetes. However, there was no sufficient evidence to demonstrate that diet alone or physical activity alone can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes development.



1          Hemmingsen, B., Gimenez-Perez, G., Mauricio, D., Roqué i Figuls, M., Metzendorf, M.-I. and Richter, B. (2017) Diet, Physical Activity or Both for Prevention or Delay of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Its Associated Complications in People at Increased Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD003054.pub4.

2           (2010) WHO | Diabetes Mellitus. WHO, World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs138/en/.


Keywords: #DoesItWorkSummary, diet, physical activity, Cochrane Systematic Review, prevention of type 2 diabetes, delay of type 2 diabetes.


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