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Effectiveness of lifestyle interventions for weight management

By Colin Kenny, Editor – Diabetes Distilled


This study was conducted in Glasgow using general practice electronic health records. In all, 23,208 people living with type 2 diabetes and obesity were followed for up to 3 years in a period between 2005 and 2014. Patients were stratified by referral to, and attendance at, a lifestyle intervention for weight management, and by attainment of a target weight loss of ≥5 kg over the seven to nine sessions of the intervention. Outcomes were change in weight, HbA1c and diabetes medications.

A total of 3471 eligible patients were referred to the service, although fewer than half of these attended (n=1537). Of those who attended seven to nine sessions, over 40% completed and achieved 5-kg weight loss. Successful completers maintained greater weight loss than the non-completers and those not referred to the service. This cohort was the only patient group who did not increase their use of diabetes medication and insulin over 3 years. Investigators concluded that a real-life structured weight management intervention in people with diabetes can reduce weight in the medium term, can result in improved glycaemic control with fewer medications, and may be more effective than pharmacological alternatives.


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