Home > Healthy Living > NEWSTART Lifestyle > Nutrition > ARTICLES >
Lifestyle Change Stops Diabetes - Dr. Galen Comstock

Type 2 diabetes is a stubborn disease to treat and leaves a lot of people feeling out of sync with life, and desperate for answers. Ever wonder, “How can I regain my energy and control those wildly high blood sugars.” Mayo clinic and other academic medical institutions concede the best way to control this disease is to start with lifestyle change. Diet and exercise are key.


Here are two studies that give credence as to why we need lifestyle changes to control and prevent this disease. The first study took severely obese diabetic patients and put them on a calorie restricted diet for 1 week. At the end of one week of calorie restriction, blood tests revealed a marked increase in pancreatic function, lower blood sugars and decreased triglycerides.*

In 2002, the National Institutes of Health published results from the landmark Diabetes Prevention Program study in the New England Journal of Medicine. In the trial, 3,234 overweight people at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes were split into three groups to test whether lifestyle changes or the drug metformin could prevent the onset of diabetes.

  • Group 1 received extensive training in diet and exercise, with goals of exercising 150 minutes per week and losing and keeping off 7% of their body weight.
  • Group 2 received 850 milligrams of the diabetes drug metformin twice a day.
  • Group 3 received placebo pills.


  • Moderate weight loss and regular exercise could prevent Type 2 diabetes.
  • Those in Group 1 reduced their risk by 58%; members of this group who were 60 and older reduced their risk by 71%.
  • Lifestyle intervention worked equally well across all ethnicities and both genders.
  • Those in Group 2 reduced their risk by 31%; metformin was less effective at preventing diabetes in people older than 45.


Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Feb 8. Department of Medicine, University of Rome