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If you’re overweight, losing 10 percent of your weight (20 pounds if you weigh in at 200) may cut your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, even if you regain the pounds you shed within a decade. This finding comes from a national study that included 3,000 overweight people with impaired glucose tolerance, a metabolic condition that increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Results showed that losing an average of only 14 pounds reduced the risk of developing diabetes by 58 percent. During the weight-loss phase of the study, participants tracked what they ate daily as part of the behavioral changes they were taught. They also limited the amount of unhealthy foods they kept at home and increased their physical activity.
Study leader Rena Wing, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the Brown University Medical School, reported that in addition to reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, weight loss can lead to reductions in sleep apnea and normalizing blood pressure, as well as improving participants’ quality of life and slowing the decline of mobility with age.