Real-World Evidence for Decisions in Diabetes

World Physical Activity Day

As April 6th marks World Physical Activity Day, it's an opportunity to debunk some common myths about diabetes. One prevalent misconception is the belief that staying slim automatically guards against developing diabetes, even when we donĀ“t exercise regularly.

However, experts emphasize the multifaceted nature of diabetes risk factors, urging individuals to recognize the importance of physical activity regardless of their weight status. Lack of regular physical activity increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

When it comes to type 2 diabetes, physical activity and, consequently, weight reduction not only aids in better utilization of insulin by cells but also improves blood sugar levels and overall metabolic health. In the quest for weight loss and diabetes management, dietary choices before and after exercise make a significant difference. For example, consuming high-fibre carbohydrates, healthy fats, and non-starchy vegetables can fuel workouts effectively. During exercise, the body's insulin utilization increases, potentially leading to hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar). Combining carbohydrates with protein in post-workout snacks helps stabilize blood sugar levels.

However, the association between weight and type 2 diabetes isn't straightforward. While being overweight is a significant risk factor, it's not the sole determinant. Factors such as physical activity levels, family history, ethnicity, and age also influence diabetes risk. Contrary to popular belief, many individuals with type 2 diabetes maintain a normal weight or are slightly overweight, emphasizing the importance of holistic diabetes prevention strategies.

At REDDIE, we are researching how real-world data can complement randomised controlled trials to improve the efficacy, safety and value for money of diabetes prevention and treatment technologies. These data are particularly relevant to long-term conditions such as diabetes mellitus, where drugs, lifestyle interventions and digital technologies often work together.