Weight loss can cure or reverse type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure in a great number of people.
Otherwise healthy adults with type 2 diabetes diagnosed within last 6 years, and who were overweight with BMI of 27-45, were enrolled in a weight loss program.
The Lancet just published a large primary care-based trial, showing that a professionally supported intensive weight management program is attractive to many people early in the course of type 2 diabetes.
Weight loss was induced with a total diet replacement phase using a low energy formula diet (825–853 kcal/day; 59% carbohydrate, 13% fat, 26% protein, 2% fiber) for 3 months (extendable up to 5 months if wished by participant), followed by structured food reintroduction of 2–8 weeks (about 50% carbohydrate, 35% total fat, and 15% protein), and an ongoing structured program with monthly visits for long-term weight loss maintenance.
All oral anti-diabetic and anti-hypertensive drugs were discontinued on day 1 of the weight management program, with standard protocols for drug reintroduction under national clinical guidelines, if indicated by regular monitoring of blood glucose and blood pressure.
Anti-hypertensive drugs were withdrawn because blood pressure rapidly decreases upon start of a low energy diet.
Physical activity and sleep were objectively measured over 7 days by use of wrist-worn fit-bit type trackers.
This program allowed almost half of participants to revert to a non-diabetic state, off anti-diabetic drugs at 12 months, and 68% stopped blood pressure medications with no rise in blood pressure!
The researchers will monitor these people for 4 more years.
Maybe now is the time for health insurance plans to fully cover medically supervised, evidence based, weight loss programs that can reverse the epidemic of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Does your health plan cover weight loss program?
Instead of spending all that money on a “fully-insured” health insurance, if you go with a self-funded, but protected, health benefit with the help of a TPA such as Pequot Healthcare, you can design your plan that can include proven, effective, high value approaches to better health.