News: Shift to Weight Loss for Treating T2 Diabetes

The study suggests that treatment forT2 diabetes should start focusing on weight loss, which is shift from the current focus on blood sugar.

Study Background

A recent study was published in the medical journal The Lancet supporting a shift in how Type 2 Diabetes should be treated. The research suggests a more weight-centric approach, rather than just focusing on glycaeima (glucose in the blood).

The study was conducted by an international panel from the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center, Univ. of Melbourne, the Diabetes Complications Research Centres in Ireland, and others. They reviewed clinical evidence spanning over 30 years related to weight loss, obesity and other terms in combination with T2 diabetes.  

Study Findings

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A key finding was the clear benefits of weight loss seen across the diseases of weight-related T2 diabetes. 

The study found that the benefits of weight loss extends beyond just blood sugar to also include other improvements. This included reversing microvascular complications such as in the eyes, kidneys or nerves.

Another key finding was that studies on intensive lifestyle interventions showed strong data related to blood sugar control and even reversing the severity of diabetes. 

Such studies support the benefits of losing more than 10% of bodyweight on the disease process of type 2 diabetes, diabetes-related endpoints, and complications in the long term, including cardiovascular events.


Ildiko Lingvay, Priya Sumithran, Ricardo V Cohen, Carel W le Roux. Obesity management as a primary treatment goal for type 2 diabetes: time to reframe the conversation. The Lancet, 2021

Study Conclusion

The research concludes by proposing a new way to treat Type 2 diabetes. Setting a principal treatment goal of weight loss of at least 15% of body weight.

They believe that this goal is most likely to disrupt the disease course of T2 diabetes than smaller losses. And that this change would recognize that obesity complications are reversible and requires a shift in clinical care.

Our Opinion

The study is encouraging because it asks medical providers to focus on weight-loss, not just blood sugar, as a key goal for Type 2 diabetes treatment.  And it shows the data is clear that lifestyle interventions benefit blood sugar control and even remission of T2 diabetes.

Because the study’s audience is for medical providers, it’s likely that providers will try to achieve weight loss goals through medications.  (In fact, the study explored current and developing medications effective for weight loss.) 

We don’t discourage or disagree with taking medications. And you should always consult your care provider with questions. But knowing that providers may suggest medication to treat weight loss may be something to consider. 

Our goal at DiaBettr to help you with lifestyle changes to manage diabetes so you can rely on less medication.  You can read more about us here (link)

We think this study aligns with our approach and is a good sign of the healthcare industry taking a more holistic approach to treating Type 2 diabetes.

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