Intensive lifestyle changes can delay or prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes, according to a new study.
Researchers studied the effects of 12 key lifestyle messages, bearing on practical ways of increasing physical activity and an increased protein diet with reduced fat and sugar.
Type-2 diabetes is a leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, cardiovascular disease and early death. It is a major health problem and has been identified at the local, regional and national level.
While the project did not make weight loss an objective, results also showed significant weight loss.
One of the study's co-authors, Auckland University of Technology's (AUT) Elaine Rush, said that "it shows community-wide prevention programmes are feasible among Maori and likely to result in significant reductions in the incidence of diabetes".
Rush and other co-authors, David Simmons, Institute of Metabolic Science, Cambridge University Hospital's NHS Foundation trust, and Nic Crook from Lakes District Health Board, are part of a diabetes prevention strategy launched in 2003.
Rush said the findings show the strategy was on track to potentially slowing, or turning around, the diabetes epidemic.