The more we know about diabetes, the more it becomes clear that we have the power to take charge of our own health and prevent the development of this threatening disease. Diabetes is in part genetically based, but a US government study published in early September reveals that in many cases, lifestyle changes can dramatically lower one’s risk. Results show that living a healthy lifestyle defined by five key characteristics can reduce the risk of developing diabetes by up to 80 percent.
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The study explored how the combination of different unhealthy habits greatly increases the risk in people ages 50-71 who started the study out in good health. It seems that maintaining a healthy weight is the biggest predictor of whether or not someone will develop diabetes. Losing weight isn’t easy for anyone and it’s particularly difficult for some people, even if they eat a healthful diet and exercise regularly. (Click here for weight loss tips)
Even if you can’t seem to lose weight, you can still lower your risk of developing diabetes by adopting another one of these healthy behaviors, such as quitting smoking. If you’re older, don’t be discouraged by age, it’s never too late to start making these life changes. In fact, this study proves that it’s in fact never too late to get healthy.
Reis JP, Loria CM, Sorlie PD, Park Y, Hollenbeck A & Schatzkin A. Lifestyle Factors and Risk for New-Onset Diabetes: A Population-Based Cohort Study. Annals of Internal Medicine 2011; 155(5):292-299.