Diabetes :: Diabetics must try to lose weight

Investigators at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that among 1,400 diabetics they studied, those who said they had tried to lose weight in the past year were less likely to die over the next nine years. And it didn’t matter whether they actually shed any pounds, the researchers report in the journal Diabetes Care.

The reason may have to do with the overall healthier lifestyles that weight watchers tend to adopt, according to Dr. Edward W. Gregg and his colleagues at the CDC in Atlanta. People trying to lose weight, they note, may take up exercise or eat more nutritious foods, which could make for a longer life even in the absence of weight loss.

People who attempt to lose weight may also tend to follow more health recommendations in general, from not smoking to buckling up when driving, Gregg’s team adds. However, the findings do not necessarily negate the importance of weight loss for people with diabetes, Gregg told Reuters Health.

Instead, he explained, they highlight a still “unresolved” question: whether the emphasis should be on shedding excess pounds, or on taking up healthy lifestyle habits such as regular exercise and improving nutrition — even if this doesn’t result in weight loss.

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