Sustained weight loss results in the long-term remission of diabetes in a third of patients, according to researchers involved in the Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial (DiRECT). In this ongoing study in obese patients with type 2 diabetes, 36% of participants given a low-calorie formula diet for the first 3 months and then a structured diet using normal food to support weight maintenance were still in remission at 2 years, compared to just 3% of the control group, who received best-practice care in accordance with guidelines. The original study demonstrates the importance of marked weight loss (>15 kg), which achieved a 46% remission of diabetes. This follow-up study shows a clear dose–response relationship between the amount of weight loss and remission of diabetes. About one in three obese people with type 2 diabetes, given the weight loss and maintenance advice, were able to control their blood sugar levels, reducing the need for medication.
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