Rancho Palos Verdes, CA (PRWEB) October 22, 2012
A large federal study focusing on whether diet and weight loss could prevent heart attack and strokes ended two years ahead of schedule because the indications revealed intensive therapy did not help.
“I was surprised,” said Rena Wing, the study’s chairwoman and a professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University’s medical school.
Type 2 Diabetes is reaching epidemic proportions with nearly 26 million confirmed diabetics and 79 million pre-diabetics in the Unites States with many diabetics overweight and obese. Spending on diabetes will exceed $180 billion in 2013 according to US government statistics.
According to the New York Times as reported below.
The study randomly assigned 5,145 overweight or obese people with Type 2 diabetes to either a rigorous diet and exercise regimen or to sessions in which they got general health information. The diet involved 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day for those weighing less than 250 pounds and 1,500 to 1,800 calories a day for those weighing more. The exercise program was at least 175 minutes a week of moderate exercise.
But 11 years after the study began, researchers concluded it was futile to continue — the two groups had nearly identical rates of heart attacks, strokes and cardiovascular deaths.
The investigators are analyzing their data and will be publishing them in research papers.
But the outcome is clear, said Dr. David Nathan, a principal investigator and director of the Diabetes Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. “We have to have an adult conversation about this,” he said. “This was a negative result.”
The study participants assigned to the intensive exercise and diet program did lose about 5 percent of their weight and managed to keep it off during the study. That was enough to reduce cardiovascular risk factors.
“We showed that meaningful weight loss — let’s put ‘meaningful’ in quotes — could be established and maintained,” Dr. Nathan said. “To me that means we did a good experiment. We had a fair test of this hypothesis.”
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