Diabetics are twice as likely to have mobility problems as other people their age, but a new study has found that losing weight and improving fitness can make a dramatic difference.
The researchers at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina calculated that the lifestyle changes led to a 48% drop in the chance of diabetic patients losing their mobility.
"You don't need extreme amounts of weight loss or extreme lifestyle change to improve your outlook," Dr Vivian Fonseca, president of medicine and science for the American Diabetes Association (ADA), who wasn't involved in the research, told Medical ID wearers. "It is achievable by many people who put their mind to it and who are given the right kind of tools to do that."
The ADA estimates that nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes - most of them with type 2, the form of the disease often associated with being overweight - and 79 million more are at risk for developing the condition. Those numbers are expected to increase dramatically as the U.S. population ages.