NEJM: Weight Loss Helps Improve Quality of Life for Type 2 Diabetes Patients

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The Obesity Society responds to “Cardiovascular Effects of Intensive Lifestyle Intervention in Type 2 Diabetes” published in the New England Journal of Medicine (6/24)


Statement Attributable to: Steven Heymsfield, MD, TOS Development Committee Member and Professor at Pennington Biomedical Research Center


The findings of the NEJM study reinforce the science showing even modest weight loss can lead to improvements in diabetes and other markers of health. Simply stated: while study participants may not have shown notable improvements in longevity, they certainly lived better. Study participants who lost 5-10 percent of starting weight and increased their fitness showed:

1) reduced need for medication;

2) improved mobility;

3) reduced severity of sleep apnea; and,

4) improved sexual functioning.


It’s widely accepted across the obesity research and treatment community that even a 5-10 percent weight loss can have significant benefits on health. This study reinforces that modest improvements in weight can go a long way toward helping those affected by obesity and overweight look and feel better.


In addition, study participants were screened to be mostly free of cardiovascular disease at baseline, and had relatively well-controlled blood glucose, blood pressure, and lipids with medication. Findings might have differed if participants were recruited at a different baseline.


Several past reports have shown the close tie between obesity and increased mortality among other populations, including “Obesity and Early Mortality in the U.S.,” by James Greenberg, and "Body-mass index and mortality among 1.46 million white adults," by Amy Berrington de Gonzalez et al.

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Relevant Disclosures: Dr. Heymsfield was not involved in the study.


About The Obesity Society (TOS)

TOS is the leading scientific society dedicated to the study of obesity. TOS is committed to encouraging research on the causes, treatment, and prevention of obesity as well as to keeping the scientific community and public informed of new advances in the field. For more information please visit: