Weight loss can reverse type 2 diabetes

Added on
12 Apr 2019
Weight loss can reverse type 2 diabetes

The Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial (DiRECT), funded by Diabetes UK has released it's latest findings 2 years into the trial.  The randomised controlled study is led by Professor Mike Lean and compares the effect of a low calorie meal replacement diet  and weight management support with current best-practice guidelines for weight loss delivered in GP surgeries across Scotland and Tyneside.

Individuals aged 20-65 years with type 2 diabetes and who were overweight/obese (BMI 27-45) were randomised into an intervention or the control group. The intervention group followed an 850kcal meal replacement programme for 12 weeks before being re-introduced to food followed by structured support for weight-loss maintenance. 

149 participants were recruited into each group. At 2 years, 11% of participants in the intervention group achieved a weight loss of at least 15kg compared to the control group at 2%.  Weight loss of at least 10kg was maintained by 24% of participants in the intervention group compared to 6% in the control group. Significantly more participants from the intervention group achieved and sustained remission from diabetes compared to the control group: 36% vs 3% respectively (p<0·0001).  

Merging the results of both groups, 64% of individuals who managed to maintain at least 10 kg weight loss at 2 years remained in remission from diabetes.