Healthy Living Can Cut Chances of Developing Diabetes

By Dr. Matthew Watson

(HealthDay News) -- Living a healthy lifestyle can cut your risk of diabetes by as much as 80 percent, researchers from the U.S. National Institutes of Health report.

It has been clear that diet, exercise, smoking and drinking have an impact on whether one is likely to develop type 2 diabetes, but how each individual factor affects the risk had been unclear.

"The lifestyle factors we looked at were physical activity, healthy diet, body weight, alcohol consumption and smoking," said lead researcher Jarad Reis, a researcher from the U.S. Division of Cardiovascular Sciences at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

"For each one of those, there was a significant reduction in risk for developing diabetes," he said. "Having a normal weight by itself reduced the risk of developing diabetes by 60 to 70 percent."

For example, eating a healthy diet reduced the risk by about 15 percent, while not smoking lowered the risk by about 20 percent, he said.

The more healthy lifestyle factors one has, the lower the risk for developing diabetes, Reis noted. Overall, risk reduction can reach 80 percent, he said. Read more...

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