Modest lifestyle changes with
diet and activity can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes
Modest lifestyle changes in diet
and activity by South Asian families improve their chance of losing weight to lower their risk of
type 2 diabetes, according to a study.
Making moderate improvements
could help to improve their health and wellbeing, an Edinburgh clinical trial has
The Edinburgh University study
was carried out in their homes as opposed to hospital clinics.
It is the first of its kind in
the UK to focus on South Asian cultures.
Patients lost weight and reduced
their hip and waist measurements and there were indications they were less likely to become
diabetic by the end of the trial, which focused on people of Indian and Pakistani-origin.
Researchers said ethnic
background and culture played an important role in shaping attitudes and behaviours towards diet
National guidelines show South
Asian people place strong emphasis on family life and eating
From a young age, South Asians
are said to be sensitive or at risk of health problems linked to
Men from Pakistani and Indian
communities are three times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than the general population,
despite having similar body mass indexes, scientists
The three-year trial monitored
171 people of Indian and Pakistani background living in Scotland who were already at high risk of
diabetes as shown by blood tests done at the start of the trial.
Participants were given detailed
advice by dieticians and offered culturally-appropriate resources to help them manage their weight
through diet and exercise.
At the same time, control groups
were given basic advice, which was not culturally specific.
Professor Raj Bhopal, from
Edinburgh University's centre for population health sciences, said: "These differing approaches
show us that a more family-centred strategy, with culturally tailored lifestyle advice, can produce
significant benefits to people's health through weight loss."
The trial is published in the
journal Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology
Source: BBC News