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Issue Date: January 24, 2010
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More HealthSmart
Health with Dr. Tedd Mitchell

Get active to curb your diabetes risk

Guys: need motivation to get moving? A new study says exercise can help you ward off type 2 diabetes.

Research published in December's "American Journal of Medicine" examined whether body mass index, or BMI, and physical activity affected a man's risk of developing diabetes. Over 20 years, 20,000 men who were healthy at the trial's outset annually reported their height and weight (to determine BMI) and activity level. Scientists analyzed the data to see whether these parameters were associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Over the course of the study, more than 1,800 of the men developed diabetes. The data showed that the physically active men who were of normal weight or overweight were less likely to develop diabetes than the inactive men. The obese men were more than six times as likely to develop diabetes as the men at a normal weight -- unless they were extremely active.

At a time when we're struggling to pay to treat chronic health conditions, it's important to know how we can lower our risk of developing such problems. Two of the most important ways: Stay active, and lose those excess pounds.

Tedd Mitchell, M.D., president and CEO of Dallas' Cooper Clinic, writes HealthSmart every week.


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