Pre-diabetics benefit from Internet coaching the most, study finds

Previous studies have touted the benefits of one-on-one coaching for preventing type 2 diabetes, and new research from Stanford confirms these findings.

It appears that take-home DVDs can improve the benefits of weight loss or health coaching, helping pre-diabetics avoid a type 2 diagnosis later in life.

The study

Pre-diabetic patients were randomly assigned into one of three groups: one that was led by a health coach, one that had participants use a self-directed DVD and one that received "usual" care for pre-diabetes. In attempts to determine the benefits of coaching and computer-based assistance, the first two groups also received health tips and information about diet, exercise and behavior tools to help them stay on track.

The study lasted three months, after which researchers sent participants encouraging emails about health and exercise during a one-year follow-up period.

Coaching shown to work best

At the end of 15 months, the coaching group came out ahead of the other two groups in terms of average decrease in body mass index and total weight loss over the 15-month study period. Women appeared to respond better to the coaching program than men, and waist circumference decreased more in the coaching and DVD group than the group receiving usual care.

According to eMax Health, "The results of this newest study provide an intervention option that may help prevent development of type 2 diabetes in individuals at risk."

One clinical trial by the CDC's National Diabetes Prevention program found that one-on-one coaching may help to reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes by as much as 58 percent.

Source: EMax Health

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