Frequently Asked Questions

12. Are diet and exercise beneficial even after diabetes develops?

Research has clearly shown that diet and exercise help people with type 2 diabetes control their blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol in the short term. Although diet and exercise should lower the risk of developing heart disease and stroke and the other complications of diabetes, no long-term clinical trials have looked at this question.

The Look AHEAD study is the largest clinical trial to date to examine the long-term health effects of voluntary weight loss in people with type 2 diabetes., Researchers are studying how lifestyle changes such as eating better and getting regular exercise over the long term affect people with diabetes and their risk for heart disease. Preliminary findings from 2010 show intensive lifestyle changes improved diabetes control and lower cardiovascular disease risk in overweight and obese individuals with type 2 diabetes.