Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Study highlights five keys to diabetes prevention

Would you be willing to change one aspect of your life -- such as eating healthier or exercising more -- if you knew it would reduce your likelihood of developing diabetes? Would you make two, three or five lifestyle changes to bring down those chances even more?

Every little bit helps, a new government study suggests. Meeting just one of five key health goals reduces your odds of developing diabetes in middle age by roughly one-third, the study estimates, and the more goals you meet, the lower your risk falls, even if you have a family history of diabetes.

Doctors, of course, have long known that bad habits such as smoking, drinking too much and eating unhealthy foods increase the likelihood of developing an array of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes.

But the new study -- the largest of its kind to date -- is among the first to explore how several healthy habits combine to affect diabetes risk.

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