by Martha Hicks Leta
Last year Fitness Together studios across Massachusetts and Rhode Island undertook an ambitious study to examine the impact of a 26-week individualized fitness training program on people with diabetes and pre-diabetes.
At the start of the study Joan Hill, Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator and Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist (RD, CDE, LDN) said, “Through this observational study, we will better understand the impact of diet and exercise on diabetes control, high blood pressure, one’s sense of well-being and the costs of medications.”
As the study nears completion, the data is showing a distinct correlation between lifestyle changes to a reduction in weight, body fat, diabetes medication and an improvement in overall sense of well-being and health.
A recent article by Dr. Mark Hyman, MD entitled “New Research Finds Diabetes Can Be Reversed” examines another study that, as it turns out, supports the data emerging from the Fitness Together study.
The scientific study, entitled Reversal of type 2 diabetes: normalization of beta cell function in association with decrease pancreas and liver triglycerides concluded that the right kind of changes in diet and exercise in diabetics “reversed most features of diabetes within one week and all features by eight weeks.”
We’re not surprised. Dr. Hyman says that he sees this regularly in his medical practice. “With focused, strategic, scientifically based nutritional intervention, combined with exercise, stress management and sugar and insulin balancing nutritional supplements, many of my patients completely reverse their diabetes. And the side effects—more energy, better sleep, improved sexual function and weight loss—are all good.”
What this means is that while Fitness Together clearly is part of the solution, our nation’s health policy model needs to change dramatically from supporting illness to preventing it. “If we have a known cure, a proven way to reverse this disease, shouldn’t we be focused on implementing programs to scale this cure?” asks Dr. Mark.
The results of Fitness Together’s comprehensive set of data on 24 subjects will soon be made available. In the mean time, it’s nice to see that Fitness Together trainers and clients know the value of hard work and lifestyle changes in achieving and maintaining health.