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Diet or Exercise: Which One Works Better to Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes?

I've found it very interesting reviewing the number of reports that have surfaced over the past two years, attempting to determine whether diet or exercise work better on their own than the other. Even though researchers assumed one would work better than the other in this newest study, they found both exercise and diet work equally well to limit the your risk of diabetes.

Scientists monitored the progress of 46 baby boomers with BMIs ranging from 23-30 who were divided into three groups (diet, exercise and controls) over a year's time. The ultimate goal of the diet group was to cut the number of calories they ate by 20 percent, and met with a dietician to help them improve their eating habits.

Conversely, the exercise group was charged with burning 20 percent more of their calories. To meet those exercise goals, this group met weekly with an exercise trainer and worked in the gym for up to 90 minutes daily.

Although researchers speculated exercise would provide greater benefits, glucose tolerance and insulin levels improved at about the same level in both groups. And, it's especially interesting that fitness experts prescribed 90 minutes of daily exercise, a typical treatment dosage that shows how effective treating exercise like a drug can be.

But it makes you wonder if the diet group would've performed better still, had they modified their eating habits according to their body's unique nutritional type.

EurekAlert November 8, 2006

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 84, No. 5, November 2006: 1033-1042