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Healthier lifestyle helps prevent diabetes mellitus

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By David Liu PHD

Monday March 11, 2013 (foodconsumer.org) -- Adopting a healthier lifestyle can help prevent most of type 2 diabetes mellitus cases, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

By definition used in the study, a person who followed a healthier lifestyle should maintain a body mass index of lower than 25 kg/m2, use a diet high in cereal fiber and polyunsaturated fat and low in trans fat and glycemic load, do not smoke, drink in moderation (minimum half a drink per day), and do moderate to vigorous exercise.

Dr. Frank Hu at Harvard University and colleagues analysed data from 85,000 women of whom,  3300 were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus during a 16-year follow-up.

The authors found overweight and obesity are the single most important predictor for the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus.   Only 3.4% of the women followed a healthier lifestyle who were found 91 percent less likely to develop diabetes mellitus compared to those who did not follow the healthy lifestyle.

The researchers said that 91 percent of diabetes mellitus cases could be prevented simply following a healthier or low-risk lifestyle.
They concluded "Our findings support the hypothesis that the majority of cases of type 2 diabetes could be prevented by the adoption of a healthier lifestyle."

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