By Deborah Mitchell for EmaxHealth.com
About 57 million people have pre-diabetes, a condition of increased blood sugar that is not yet clinically classified as full-blown, but precedes the condition in most cases. In the past, many referred to this as “borderline diabetes.” Recent research has shown that even in this early stage of hyperglycemia, long-term damage may already be occurring.
According to the American Diabetes Association, treatment for pre-diabetes includes losing a modest amount of weight, about 5 to 10% of total body weight, through diet and exercise. A new study in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine has found attending Weight Watchers meetings, or similar group weight loss program, can significantly reduce fasting glucose and insulin levels – important indicators of diabetes risk.
Sixty-one overweight or obese men and women participated in a 6-month Weight Watchers program that included education on a lower calorie diet, exercise plan, and weekly group support sessions. Those who attended the most sessions had the most success, reinforcing the importance of group support in lifestyle changes.