ADA Nutrition and the Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes
San Francisco, CA.  American Diabetes Association 79th Scientific Sessions, 6.10.2019.

Finally, stats show how food intake lowers the risk of developing diabetes.  As a developer of medical algorithms, we get excited when we see glimpses of promising risk algorithms that show the effects of lifestyle behavior change. This is the FIRST time we have seen (sort of; the study is not yet published) the projected lowered risk of developing type 2 diabetes by changing eating patterns.  Let us explain:

  1. The multi-center European study looked at 2,200 patients with prediabetes who were at risk of developing type 2 diabetes within 3 years.

  2. The patients underwent a 2-month low-calorie crash diet and lost an average of 8% body weight.

  3. The patients were randomized into one of 2 diet-intake groups:

    1. High protein, low glycemic

    2. Medium protein, medium glycemic

  4. The patients were again randomized into one of 2 exercise programs:

    1. Higher intensity, shorter duration

    2. Medium intensity, medium duration

So, what happened?

  • Each of the above 4 patient pathways ended with ~4% of their participants progressing to type 2 diabetes (much lower than anticipated).

  • The expected rate of progression was ~16% of patients who would undergo standard nutrition counseling vs. ~10% of those who went keto-friendly.

  • Each of the 4 groups showed a 400% less risk of progressing to type 2 diabetes.

Note that the study has not yet been published, and we have LOTS of questions that were not answered in the press release.

The gist is that a patient can kickstart weight-loss with a low-calorie crash diet. Then:

  1. The patient needs to exercise in one of the 2 ways mentioned.

  2. Carbs are the enemy. The patient has to either eat a high or medium protein diet; and have a low or medium carb intake.

We will update our blog when the study is fully published.

Kevin Fitzpatrick, Fitzpatrick Translation Science
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