Introduction: Prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) is increasing rapidly and lifestyle interventions to reverse diabetes are seen as a possible solution to stop this trend. New practice-based evidence is needed to gain more insight in the actual, and above all scientific, basis for these claims.
Methods: This observational study with a pretest posttest design aimed to pilot a 6-month multicomponent outpatient group-based nutrition and lifestyle intervention programme on glycaemic control and use of glucose lowering medication in motivated T2D patients with a body mass index (BMI) >25 kg/m2 in the Netherlands (February 2015–March 2016).
Results: 74 T2D patients (56% female) aged 57.4±8.0 years with mean BMI 31.2±4.2 kg/m2 and mean waist circumference 105.4±10.2 cm were included in the study. Compared with baseline, mean HbA1c levels at 6 months were 5 mmol/mol lower (SD=10, p<0.001) and the number of participants with HbA1c levels ≤53 mmol/mol after intervention had increased (from 36% (n=26/72) to 60% (n=43/72)). At baseline, 90% of participants were taking at least one type of glucose lowering medication. At 6 months, 49% (n=35/72) of the participants had reduced their medication or eliminated it completely (13%). Secondary outcomes were significantly lower fasting glucose levels (− 1.2±2.6 mmol/L), body weight (−4.9±5.1 kg), BMI (−1.70±1.69 kg/m2) and waist circumference (−9.4±5.0 cm). Plasma lipids remained unchanged except for a decrease in triglyceride levels. Furthermore, self-reported quality of life was significantly higher while experienced fatigue and sleep problems were significantly lower.
Conclusion: This pilot study showed that a 6-month multicomponent group-based program in a routine care setting could improve glycaemic control and reduce the use of glucose lowering medication in motivated T2D diabetics. A fully scaled study is needed to confirm these results.