Washington, Sept 10 : A study conducted at the YMCA has shown that community-based exercise organizations can help in preventing diabetes.
Previous studies, such as the national Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), have shown that structured diet and physical exercise can significantly reduce the progression of pre-diabetes to diabetes.
Adults with pre-diabetes are 10 times more likely than the normal risk to develop diabetes.
The new study conducted by University School of Medicine researchers has suggested that organisations like YMCA can be a promising vehicle inhibiting the progression of pre-diabetes into diabetes.
"Structured diet and physical exercise can significantly reduce the progression of pre-diabetes to diabetes. But these trials involved major lifestyle changes that are difficult to translate into large-scale, community-level programs," said the study's principal author, Ronald Ackermann, M.D., M.P.H., IU School of Medicine assistant professor of medicine and an affiliated scientist of the Regenstrief Institute.
"In our study we were able to train lay people in the community to deliver the program at the YMCA, an environment accessible to many people with pre-diabetes, to help them sustain lifestyle changes," he added.
During the study, 92 individuals were enrolled in two groups. The intervention group received a core curriculum involving 16 classroom-style meetings focused on building knowledge and skills for goal setting, self-monitoring and problem-solving. The control group was offered standard diabetes-prevention advice.
The results showed that after 4-6-month follow-up visit, body weight had decreased by 6 percent in the intervention participants and by 2 percent in the control participants.
This was equal to a mean weight loss of 12.5 pounds for intervention participants and 4 pounds for the group that received the standard information.
In the DPP, a 5 percent weight loss was associated with a 58 percent reduction in risk of developing diabetes.
In our pilot study, people at high risk for developing diabetes achieved and maintained a mean 6 percent reduction in baseline body weight and significant reductions in total cholesterol," Ackermann said.
The study appears in the October 2008 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.