HealthDay News — Weight loss over a two-year period is associated with reduced diabetes incidence and improvement in cardiometabolic risk factors, according to a study published in Diabetes Care.

To examine measures of weight loss in relations to incident diabetes and cardiometabolic risk factors, Linda M. Delahanty, RD, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues collected data for 1,000 participants in the Diabetes Prevention Program lifestyle intervention arm. Researchers analyzed nine weight measures, characterizing baseline weight, short- versus long-term weight loss, short- versus long-term weight regain, and weight cycling.

Weight loss in the first six months was protective of diabetes (hazard ratio, 0.94 per kg; P<0.01) and cardiometabolic risk factors (P<0.01); however, long-term weight loss (from zero to two years) was the strongest predictor of decreased incident of diabetes (hazard ratio, 0.90 per keg; P<0.01) and cardiometabolic risk factor improvement (for example, fasting glucose; P<0.01).

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Per participant, weight cycling ranged from zero to six times and correlated positively with incident diabetes (HR, 1.33; P<0.01), fasting glucose (P=0.02), homeostatic model assessment insulin resistance (P=0.04), and systolic blood pressure (P=0.01). The effect of weight cycling was significant for diabetes risk (HR, 1.22; P=0.03), but not for cardiometabolic traits, after adjustment for baseline weight.

“Two-year weight loss was the strongest predictor of reduced diabetes risk and improvements in cardiometabolic traits,” wrote the researchers.


  1. Delahanty L et al. Diabetes Care. 2014; doi: 10.2337/dc14-0018

Disclosures: Pharmaceutical, nutrition, and exercise industries donated materials, equipment, or medicines and/or supported the study.