More exercise required for people at risk of type 2 diabetes, study reports

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People with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes need to exercise more to achieve similar results to those without type 2, according to new research.

Scientists from Lund University, Sweden investigated the effects of exercise on people whose increased risk of type 2 was caused by having an immediate relation to someone with the disease.

50 unfit men in their 40s who were slightly overweight, but otherwise completely healthy were recruited for the trial. Half of them had relatives with type 2 diabetes, while the other 25 served as controls.

The participants exercised regularly at a fitness session, which involved three training sessions a week: two aerobic classes and one spinning class. Exercise intensity and energy consumption were measured by researchers.

The at-risk group attended more sessions and also expended more energy than the control group. Both groups lost weight and reduced their waist size, but the results were similar between the groups.

Lead author Ola Hansson said: “The difference was that participants from the risk group had to exercise more to achieve the same results as the participants from the control group.

“It is interesting to see that there is a difference despite the fact that all of them are actually healthy and otherwise very similar. We now hope to continue with further studies, including examining whether exercise intensity rather than volume is a crucial factor in determining how the risk group responds to exercise.”

Lund University researchers are now planning to investigate if a particular type of exercise is more effective in preventing type 2 diabetes among at-risk groups.