About the author: Samantha Jones is a master in Literature at New York University. She is currently working as one of the best writers at https://essays-writer.net/ She also studies male psychology.
Patients who suffer from diabetes have the option of adopting a healthy lifestyle as one of the most efficient means to reduce the effects of the disease. Being overweight or obese is one of the leading risk factors for contracting diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes. Therefore, the reduction of persons body weight decreases the risk of diabetes and the negative effects of the condition among the diabetes patients. The weight loss can be achieved by leading a healthy lifestyle. By comparing previous literature, one can deduce the impacts of a healthy lifestyle among diabetes patients in comparison to patients who only follow the normal interventions associated with the disease and its management. Then a conclusion can be made on whether the existing literature supports living a healthy lifestyle as a prerequisite for healthier conditions in diabetic persons.
The research questions raised in most existing literature are related to the importance and effects of intensive lifestyle interventions on some common characteristics among diabetic patients such as impaired regulation of glucose and glycemic control, morbidity and death, urinary incontinence (Breyer et al., 2014), and high costs of healthcare. Some researchers went further to investigate the effectiveness of educational and counseling programs in helping diabetes patients to lose weight, as opposed to using medication alone to facilitate the weight loss. The research questions were essential in revealing the effects of intensive lifestyle intervention, in reducing the body weight of obese diabetic patients, which in turn led to the decrease in urinary incontinence (Breyer et al., 2014), and reduction of medical costs (Espeland et al., 2014), as well as better glycemic control and regulation of glucose. Therefore, the answer to different research questions in the different studies was consistent to a large extent. For instance, patients put under intensive lifestyle interventions for a year, showed the decrease in the prevalence of urinary incontinence from 11.3% to 9.0%, while patients in the control group showed the increase from 9.7% to 11.6% (Breyer et al., 2014). Glycemic control was also attributed to increased fitness and weight loss in type 2 diabetes patients (Jakicic et al., 2013). One study aimed to find the effect that a daily low carbohydrate meal replacement coupled with lifestyle intervention would have an effect on glycaemic control and body weight in individuals affected by impaired glucose regulation (Xu et al., 2013). The results indicated that combining these approaches led to the significant reduction in body weight as well as the concentration of plasma glucose.
A look at the existing literature exhibits some distinctive patterns in the sample populations used in these studies. The first similarity is that almost all studies utilized the use of type 2 diabetes patients as their sample population. The comparison can be attributed to the close relationship between obesity and type 2 diabetes, where 85% of the patients are either overweight or obese. The next comparison is that all the studies utilized adults as their sample, while the majority of studies used individuals between the age of 35 and 75, with the average being 58 years. This trend can be attributed to the fact that most of those affected by diabetes are older adults, with 25% of individuals over the age of 60 in America being diabetic patients. The last similarity is that all studies, utilized the use of overweight or obese patients since weight loss is a good indicator of the effectiveness of intensive lifestyle intervention, and also because being overweight and obese is a high-risk factor for diabetes.
Different limitations were identified in different studies, and these variations can be attributed to different approaches followed in conducting these studies. One study used a sample of 57 patients to test how diabetes outcomes can be improved through changing patients lifestyle (Delahanty et al., 2015). The major limitation of this study was a small sample size, which made it difficult to identify some differences in the health outcomes, despite these differences being statistically significant (Delahanty et al., 2015). Additionally, having a single site for the study and a very short time for assessing the outcomes were additional limitations that had the potential to affect the accuracy of the study results (Delahanty et al., 2015). Other limitation noted in the study is the fact that the study could have focused on specific interventions, such as losing weight through increasing physical activity and restricting calorie intake, however, it is unclear if the results would be the same when using other intervention, for example, diet change (Wing et al., 2013). The major limitation prevalent in most studies was the uncertainty on whether the results of the research could be replicated in the general population (Espeland et al., 2014).
The existing connection between obesity and diabetes was identified. While most diabetic persons are treated with medication and support and education groups, these approaches are not very effective. Considering that being obese or overweight can be related to ones lifestyle, a change in patients lifestyle can lead to healthier conditions and reduce the risks of diabetes, as well as the outcomes of this disease among the patients. Intensive lifestyle interventions were found to be very effective in handling diabetes, since they help patients lose weight, and reduce the impact of some characteristics common for diabetes patients, for example, urinary incontinence, poor glycemic control, and impaired regulation of glucose. Future research on obesity and diabetes should focus on children. In the United States, one out of five children is considered obese, and the cases of younger persons and children suffering from diabetes, especially type 1 diabetes, are on the rise. Researchers should strive to identify if there is a connection between the high number of obese children and the increasing cases of diabetes in children.