Skip to main content

12-06-2016 | Adolescents | News

News in brief

Intensive diet plan can reverse type 2 diabetes in adolescents

medwireNews: A pilot study indicates that a very intensive dietary intervention is acceptable to children and adolescents with type 2 diabetes, and highly effective among those who stick to it.

Eight children and adolescents, aged between 7.5 and 16.8 years, completed 8 weeks on a daily intake of 3360 kJ (800 kcal). Five participants adhered to the diet and lost a median of 7.5% of their starting bodyweight.

These five participants completed a further 12-week period during which they transitioned to a still reduced daily intake of 5040–6300 kJ/day, which they remained on for another 34 weeks. By the end of this period, the median weight loss was 12.3% and four participants were no longer diabetic by any measure. All three who had been insulin-dependent at baseline ceased to require it.

The participant who remained diabetic still had 5.35% liver fat by the end of the intervention, compared with a median of 2.7%. This suggests that “further weight loss and hepatic lipid reduction may be necessary to induce type 2 diabetes reversal,” write Megan Gow (The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, Australia) and co-researchers in Diabetologia.

This participant also had the longest-standing diabetes, at 3.25 years compared with less than 6 months in the others, “suggesting the importance of early intervention.”

Participants’ quality of life improved during the study, despite “the strict and difficult nature” of the intervention, and five of seven participants interviewed at the end of the study said they would recommend the intervention to other young people with type 2 diabetes.

By Eleanor McDermid

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2016