As Americans waistlines continue to expand, contributing to a burgeoning epidemic of type 2 diabetes, the scientific jury is in and the verdict is clear: weight loss and increased physical activity is directly related to improved diabetes control. To help Americans fight the dramatic increase in type 2 diabetes, Joslin Diabetes Center has crafted new nutrition and physical activity guidelines for overweight and obese individuals with type 2 diabetes and those at risk for developing diabetes (pre-diabetes).
"Since obesity doesnt seem to be slowing down and the complications of diabetes are so serious, we were especially alarmed about the health of the American public. We felt the best way to impact the largest number of people was to strengthen our nutrition guidelines," said James L. Rosenzweig, M.D, head of Joslins clinical guidelines committee. The team of physicians, dietitians, exercise physiologists and educators spent months reviewing the scientific literature to draw up new guidelines. "The search was on for guidelines that would improve insulin sensitivity, cardiovascular health and reduce body fat. And most importantly, we wanted to deliver a plan that makes clear what people need to do to achieve their goals," said Dr. Rosenzweig, who also is Director of Joslins Disease Management Program and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
The new guidelines recommend approximately 40 percent of a persons daily calories come from carbohydrates; 20 to 30 percent from protein (unless the person has kidney disease); 30-35 percent come from fat, (mostly mono- and polyunsaturated fats); and at least 20-35 grams of fiber. To initiate and continue weight reduction, a modest goal of one pound every one to two weeks is advised by reducing daily caloric intake by 250 to 500 calories. Total daily calories should not be less than 1,000 to 1,200 for women and 1,200 to 1,600 for men. A target of 60 to 90 minutes of modest intensity physical activity most days of the week with a minimum of 150-175 minutes/week is encouraged and should include cardiovascular, stretching and resistance activities to maintain or increase lean body mass.
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