Why is a healthy lifestyle so important for me?

A healthy lifestyle is important in lowering your risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Evidence from several studies have demonstrated the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

For example, in the Finnish diabetes prevention study, people who made changes to their lifestyle were 58% less likely to develop diabetes in the following 3.2 years compared to those who made no lifestyle changes. The people who were least likely to develop diabetes achieved the following five lifestyle goals:

  1. A reduction in bodyweight of over 5%

  2. Less than 30% of their energy intake came from fats

  3. Less than 10% of their energy intake came from saturated fats

  4. Dietary fibre intake greater than 15 g per every 1000 kcal consumed

  5. At least moderate intensity exercise for more than 4 hours weekly
     

Similar evidence supporting the importance of lifestyle changes has been found in the Da Qing IGT and Diabetes study in China, a study in Japanese men with impaired glucose tolerance, the Indian Diabetes Prevention Programme, and American Diabetes Prevention Programme.