A 12-month interdisciplinary lifestyle intervention program was found to significantly improve the risk of developing diabetes and metabolic syndrome in obese and prediabetic patients, according to a study published in Obesity Facts.

Researchers from Germany created the M.O.B.I.L.I.S. program, a study that implemented lifestyle changes in moderately obese individuals and tracked weight and metabolic risk factors over a 12-month period. A total of 5884 patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 to 40 kg/m2 participated in interdisciplinary group sessions that addressed physical activity (n=41) as well as psychologic interventions addressing self-management (n=12) and nutritional counseling sessions (n=8). Dietary interventions focused on reducing fat consumption and increasing high-quality, high-energy food.

Laboratory analysis included serum triglyceride; total, high-density lipoprotein, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol; fasting blood glucose; and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels; these levels were assessed by clinical routine methods before and after the 12-month intervention period. Body weight, height, waist circumference, and resting blood pressure were also determined.

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Prediabetes was identified in 2651 patients; of these, 2227 (1684 women, 543 men) were included in the study. Data were collected for body weight, cardiopulmonary fitness, blood pressure, and metabolic parameters. The 12-month lifestyle intervention program was found to significantly reduce body weight (-6%) and waist circumference (-6.8%), and improve physical fitness (15%) in participants of both sexes. Although the number of participants who were men was lower, men were found to have a greater benefit in body weight and body composition, as well as serum triglycerides and LDL cholesterol levels.

A total of 839 of the 2227 prediabetic participants were found to have normal HbA1c levels (-37.7%) after the intervention and therefore were no longer classified as having prediabetes. Conversely, 66 participants developed type 2 diabetes (2.9%). Of the patients demonstrating symptoms of metabolic syndrome (1641), 766 (46.7%) did not show any signs of syndrome development after the intervention program; however, 120 participants displayed new signs of metabolic syndrome at the conclusion of the program.

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“The clinical effects [of the study] are substantial and are likely to reduce the risk of developing diabetes and the prevalence of a full-blown metabolic syndrome in obese [patients ad those with prediabetes],” the authors concluded.


König D, Hörmann J, Predel H-G, Berg A. A 12-month lifestyle intervention program improves body composition and reduces the prevalence of prediabetes in obese patients. Obes Facts. 2018;11(5):393-399.