Living healthy can cut diabetes risk by up to 80 percent, study finds

Oct 06, 2011

Living healthy can help cut down on chances of getting diabetes.

Although it's almost always been clear that healthy living can help stave off type 2 diabetes, a new study by the U.S. Division of Cardiovascular Sciences at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute found that different aspects of a healthy lifestyle can combine to reduce the chance of the disease by 80 percent. Staying healthy goes a long way toward low life insurance costs.

"The lifestyle factors we looked at were physical activity, healthy diet, body weight, alcohol consumption and smoking," said lead researcher Jarad Reis, of the U.S. Division of Cardiovascular Sciences at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. For each activity, there was a "significant reduction" in risk for developing diabetes. Reis said just having a normal weight reduced the risk by 60 to 70 percent.

Other health factors, including eating a healthy diet and not smoking, lowered the risk for diabetes by 15 and 20 percent, respectively. The report, published in the September 6 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, confirms the public health efforts to attain and maintain a healthy diet, physical activity and optimal body weight, Reis said.

A study by the University of Michigan Health System found that losing weight as a child could go a long way toward avoiding getting type 2 diabetes. The study said the amount of excess weight and the number of years someone carries it add to their chances of getting diabetes.

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