Diabetes Lifestyle Importance Known, Not Practiced

Diabetes Lifestyle Importance Known, Not Practiced

Findings from the “Study to Help Improve Early Evaluation and Management of Risk Factors Leading to Diabetes” (SHIELD) revealed some interesting information about the behaviors of people with diabetes. SHIELD is the largest nongovernmental longitudinal survey in the U.S., and the results were presented at the 2011 American Diabetes Association meeting.

Investigators from a variety of institutions in the US analyzed responses to surveys distributed to a diverse population of U.S. adults, some of whom already had either type 1 or 2 diabetes. The screening survey was completed by 211,097 adults and the follow-up survey five years later was completed by 11,238 adults.

The data showed that 87% of 3,867 type 2 respondents in the baseline survey said that they knew that obesity contributes to the onset of diabetes or can exacerbate confirmed diabetes. However, while 70% of type 2 respondents said that they had tried to lose weight over the prior year, only 34% had maintained their goal weight for more than six months.

With respect to exercise, 63% of type 2 respondents in the screening survey said that their primary care practitioner had recommended an increase in physical activity in the last 12 months. However 87% said that they had not been active over the previous seven days. About 20% of patients reported that they would rather take a medication for their health conditions than alter their lifestyle.

The study suggests that people with diabetes who access healthcare and receive information about the importance of lifestyle do not make significant behavior changes. "The results contradict the widely held notion that diabetics who are well informed about their disease and have good access to health care are likely to favorably alter their lifestyles per their physicians' recommendations," James Gavin III, MD, with Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, said. Findings from the “Study to Help Improve Early Evaluation and Management of Risk Factors Leading to Diabetes” (SHIELD) revealed some interesting information about the behaviors of people with diabetes. SHIELD is the largest nongovernmental longitudinal survey in the U.S., and the results were presented at the 2011 American Diabetes Association meeting.

Investigators from a variety of institutions in the US analyzed responses to surveys distributed to a diverse population of U.S. adults, some of whom already had either type 1 or 2 diabetes. The screening survey was completed by 211,097 adults and the follow-up survey five years later was completed by 11,238 adults.

The data showed that 87% of 3,867 type 2 respondents in the baseline survey said that they knew that obesity contributes to the onset of diabetes or can exacerbate confirmed diabetes. However, while 70% of type 2 respondents said that they had tried to lose weight over the prior year, only 34% had maintained their goal weight for more than six months.

With respect to exercise, 63% of type 2 respondents in the screening survey said that their primary care practitioner had recommended an increase in physical activity in the last 12 months. However 87% said that they had not been active over the previous seven days. About 20% of patients reported that they would rather take a medication for their health conditions than alter their lifestyle.

The study suggests that people with diabetes who access healthcare and receive information about the importance of lifestyle do not make significant behavior changes. "The results contradict the widely held notion that diabetics who are well informed about their disease and have good access to health care are likely to favorably alter their lifestyles per their physicians' recommendations," James Gavin III, MD, with Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, said.

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