Dr K K Aggarwal
A new study of over 200,000 adults has shown that a combination of five healthy lifestyle factors is associated with a reduced risk of developing diabetes.
The study published in the September 6 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine and led by Jared Reis, Ph.D., of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health has shown that each factor one incorporates into the life style can lower diabetes risk by 31 percent for men and 39 percent for women and all five risk factors together can lower risk by 80 percent.
The lifestyle factors the team examined were
1.Following a healthy diet (high fiber, low saturated fat, zero trans fat, low refined carbohydrate, low salt, high in fruits). Refined carbohydrates are white rice white maida and white rice.
2.Maintaining an optimal body weight (less than 23 x height in meters x height in meters for Asians)
3.Engaging in recommended amounts of physical activity (minimum 80 minutes of moderately strenuous exercise per week). Our recommendation is to walk 80 minutes a day and for 80 minutes per week the speed should be 80 steps per minute
4.Those who drink, does not want to stop and there is no contraindication, limiting alcohol use to no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. Definitions of a “standard drink” differ. For different countries, a standard drink is generally considered as follows: United States: 14 to 15 g alcohol (0.5 to 0.6 fl oz), equivalent to 12 oz beer, 5 oz wine, and 1.5 oz of 80 proof liquor; Great Britain: 8 g alcohol; Japan: 19.75 g alcohol and India 10 g alcohol. 10 grams of alcohol is present in 30 ml or 1 oz of 80 proof liquor.
The study suggests that being overweight or obese is the strongest lifestyle determinant for whether a person develops diabetes, but that those who are already overweight or obese may still be able to reduce their risk by adopting other healthy lifestyle factors.
The study has concluded that while family history of diabetes is strongly linked to the disease, people may be able to largely prevent or delay diabetes by leading a healthy lifestyle.
Being an India is a genetic risk factor for developing diabetes but modifying risk factors can prevent diabetes. After all in Vedic era the diabetes was not so rampant even though same genes ere there. The life style was India and not western at that time.
About the author: Dr K K Aggarwal is Padmashri and Dr B C Roy National Awardee, President Heart Care Foundation of India, Dean Board of Medical Education Moolchand Medcity, Sr. Physician & Cardiologist, Chairman Ethics Committee Delhi Medical Council, Visiting professor Clinical Research DIPSAR, Past President Delhi Medical Association and Past Academic and Research Wing Heads IMA.