Wellington: A rigorous exercise and diet regime made no difference to the risk of a person with type 2 diabetes developing heart disease, a new study has found.
AUT University nutrition professor Elaine Rush, however, noted that this doesn’t mean people should quit the gym and healthy food.
The results are only preliminary and there could be hope for some diabetes sufferers once researchers delve deeper into different groups studied, she said.
She noted that adopting a healthier lifestyle could potentially reduce the risk of heart disease for certain ethnic groups or lower socio-economic groups.
Exercise and diet also boosted people’s quality of life, including giving them energy to play with their children, according to her.
“People with diabetes also have a responsibility to their community and family to set an example and make people think about what can be done before they get diabetes,” Stuff.co.nz quoted her as saying.
The large American study monitored over 5000 people, half of which were put on an extensive diet and exercise programme.
The study found the chance of a heart attack or stroke was the same for the obese, unfit control group.
The results go against previous advice that exercising and eating healthy would help those suffering from type 2 diabetes.
However, thy researchers acknowledged that there were some health benefits in losing weight, including lowering the risk of sleep apnoea and reducing the need for diabetes medication.
“Although the study found weight loss had many positive health benefits for people with type 2 diabetes, the weight loss did not reduce the number of cardiovascular events,” said Brown University professor Dr Rena Wing, chair of the study.