Diet and exercise can help obese people with type 2 diabetes lose weight, but this may not translate into reduced risk of heart attacks or stroke, a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found. Researchers randomly assigned 5,145 overweight or obese patients with type 2 diabetes at 16 clinical sites to a program of intense dieting and exercise or of diabetes support and education only. Patients in the weight-loss group lost an average of 8.6% of their body weight during the first year and 6.0% over the study's nearly 10 years, compared to 3.5% for the control group at the study's end. However, there was little difference in the number of heart attack or stroke deaths – 403 patients in the intervention group and 418 in the control group. The weight-loss group did achieve some health benefits, though, including reduced glycated hemoglobin levels, partial remission of diabetes, reduced depression and improvements in quality of life, physical functioning and mobility. Read the abstract.

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