The results of the recently published DPPOS study show that lifestyle changes significantly reduce the chances for acquiring Type 2 diabetes in those at high risk for the disease.
The lifestyle changes studied were a "low fat" (25% fat) diet and 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. However, as reported: "Another analysis found that weight loss was the main predictor of reduced risk for developing diabetes". So most likely, the lifestyle changes may have been just the means to the end -- which is lower body fat.
In any event:
What are the main findings of the DPPOS?
After an average of 10 years’ follow up, intensive lifestyle changes aimed at modest weight loss
•reduced the rate of developing type 2 diabetes by 34 percent compared with placebo.
•reduced the rate of developing type 2 diabetes by 49 percent in those age 60 and older compared with placebo.
•delayed type 2 diabetes by about 4 years compared with placebo.
•reduced cardiovascular risk factors.
•reduced hemoglobin A1c (A1C) and fasting glucose compared with placebo. The A1C test gives information about average blood glucose levels for the past 2 to 3 months.
The study was begun in 1996 under the title DPP and continued in 2002 under the title of DPPOS ("Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study"). A Q&A on the trial are published here:
Questions & Answers about the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes (DPPOS) Study