Managing weight in diabetes: Which diets are most effective?

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Scientists have been studying the effect of diet on type 2 diabetes for years. Research has shown that losing weight can lead to remission.

However, previous studies have yielded conflicting results, and it is unclear which diets are most effective.

A recent review of previously published data found that very low energy diets and meal replacement were the most effective way to manage weight in people living with type 2 diabetes.

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) reports that 1 in 10 adults are living with diabetes. Type 2 diabetes accounts for more than 90%Trusted Source of these cases. The IDF estimates that diabetes will affect 643 million people worldwide by 2030, with the number rising to 784 million by 2045.

A number of studies have investigated the impact of weight loss on type 2 diabetes. However, weight loss can vary widely between diets, and comparisons have produced conflicting resultsTrusted Source. There is still uncertainty over which type of diet medical professionals should recommend.

A global team of researchers led by Prof. Michael Lean of the University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom set out to examine the previous research.

Their aim was to find the most effective dietary approach for losing weight, maintaining weight loss, and achieving remission from type 2 diabetes.

The research is part of a program of work to update the recommendations of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.

The researchers found that very low energy diets and meal replacements were the most effective way for people with type 2 diabetes to manage their weight. The review results appear in the journal Diabetologia.

Dr. Lucy Chambers, head of Research Communications at Diabetes UK, told Medical News Today, “This review, which combines findings from many studies, answers important questions about which diets are most effective for weight loss and remission in people with type 2 diabetes.”

Experts widely accept that weight loss benefits treatment of type 2 diabetes. The landmark Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial (DiRECT)Trusted Source, led by Prof. Lean, showed that it is possible to achieve remission from type 2 diabetes by maintaining over 10 kilograms (kg), or 22 pounds (lb), of weight loss.

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