Diet and weight loss did not prevent heart attacks and strokes in overweight and obese people with Type 2 diabetes.
A large federal study of whether diet and weight loss can prevent heart attacks and strokes in overweight and obese people with Type 2 diabetes has ended two years ahead of schedule because the intensive program did not help. Many have assumed diet and exercise would help, in part because short-term studies had found that those strategies lowered blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Still, medical experts said there were many benefits to diet and exercise even if they did not reduce cardiovascular disease in people with diabetes.
About 25 million Americans have Type 2 diabetes. Many are overweight or obese. On average, the disease increases heart disease risk by 2 to 2 ½ times. Study randomly assigned 5,145 overweight or obese people with Type 2 diabetes to either a rigorous diet and exercise regimen or to sessions in which they got general health information. The diet involved 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day for those weighing less than 250 pounds and 1,500 to 1,800 calories a day for those weighing more. The exercise program was at least 175 minutes a week of moderate exercise.