For years, we have been given the message that we get diabetes because we overeat, are couch potatoes and we are just fat. In a surprising turn of events a recent intervention trial aimed at having some 5,000 obese patients lose weight and become more fit has been halted because it is clear that weight loss and fitness is not protective against heart disease. Although the establishment clings to the belief that weight loss and fitness "prevents" diabetes, it is now clear that it doesn't reduce the number 1 killer of us type 2 diabetics (heart disease).
The study as reported in the NYTimes, found that these interventions " lowered blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol levels," but as Dr. David Nathan is quoted "We have to have an adult conversation about this,” he said. “This was a negative result.”
A discussion of this event by the AHA announces the result, but quotes the well known Dr. Anne Peters saying that although weight loss, fitness and improved cardiovascular biomarkers didn't result in any improvement in heart disease rates, "We do know that weight loss and exercise can prevent diabetes." Personally, I don't believe this for a minute. I've not seen any study that suggests that T2 diabetes can be prevented. The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) showed that patients could delay the diagnosis of outright diabetes, but without follow up and careful consideration of diagnostic criteria, it is inappropriate to declare that T2 diabetes can be "prevented."
This event dismantles one leg of the argument that the epidemic rise in diabetes is cause by overeating and obesity, but I think it will take years for the concept to actually be understood and absorbed.
What are your thoughts about this study result? Will you stop starving yourself in a valiant attempt to avoid heart disease? Do you still believe that diet and exercise makes a difference? What will you do?