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Type 2 Diabetes: Weight Regain Reduces Cardiovascular Benefits

Overweight and obesity are two of the top risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes, a metabolic condition in which the body is unable to process blood sugar effectively.

Once someone does develop diabetes, doctors will often suggest making dietary adjustments, not just to help keep blood sugar levels in check but also for weight loss.

The aim of this intervention is to help reduce the risk of strokeheart disease, and other cardiovascular problems that have an association with diabetes.

Studies have confirmed that the more weight a person with diabetes loses, the more their cardiovascular risk diminishes. What happens, though, if a person regains some or all of that weight at some point?

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That is the question that researchers from Tufts University in Boston, MA, and the University of Connecticut in Storrs aimed to answer in a recent study.

The study results — which appear in the Journal of the American Heart Association — suggest that maintaining weight loss is just as important as losing weight in the first place when it comes to keeping heart disease and health events, such as stroke, at bay.

Weight loss maintenance is crucial

The research team analyzed the data of 1,561 individuals with type 2 diabetes who took part in the Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes) trial. The program helped participants lose weight by forming more healthful eating habits and increasing their levels of physical activity.

The participants also received standard care for type 2 diabetes, which included information on managing this condition and targeted support.

The current trial looked at the data from participants who had an initial weight loss of at least 3% body weight as part of the 1 year intensive lifestyle intervention. They also looked at the follow-up data that Look AHEAD collected 4 years after the lifestyle intervention.

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