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Is weight loss the best treatment for type 2 diabetes?




Obesity is the main driver of type 2 diabetes and weight loss has been shown to improve blood glucose levels. This article describes the author’s own approach to weight loss in people with diabetes – the use of a very low energy diet followed by long-term weight maintenance (lifestyle changes and appetite-suppressing medication).

Key Points

  • Obesity is the main driver of type 2 diabetes, commonly interacting with chronological ageing and ethnic susceptibility.
  • Weight loss improves blood glucose levels in people with diabetes, and those with a short history of the condition may go into temporary remission.
  • Weight loss is not maintained long term in most individuals because body weight is vigorously defended.
  • Very low energy diets (VLEDs) allow rapid weight loss with maintenance of micronutrient levels.
  • Appetite-suppressing medication may be necessary as well as lifestyle changes after losing weight medically (VLED, bariatric surgery).
  • Many people can cease some or all diabetes medications after substantial weight loss.

    Picture credit: © ktaylorg/ Model used for illustrative purposes only.