Danish research: Diabetes patients won’t live longer due to weight loss

Researchers claim that treatment should focus on proven benefits instead

New Danish research has shown that weight loss has no effect on the mortality rate among Type 2 diabetes patients

The researchers – who hail from the University of Copenhagen (KU) and the University of Southern Denmark – recommended their findings should lead to a shift in focus away from weight loss in official guidelines regarding treatment.

“We are staring blindly at weight loss, which we want all overweight diabetes patients to embrace. But we actually don’t have any documentation that it is healthy,” Rasmus Køster-Rasmussen, a researcher from the Research Unit for General Practice at KU, told science website Videnskab.dk

“Our study shows that, in the best-case scenario, it has no effect.”

READ MORE: Diabetes cases on the rise in Denmark

No weight loss impact
Køster-Rasmussen contended that treatment for Type 2 diabetes patients should instead focus on elements that have been proven to make an impact on survival and avoiding cardiovascular diseases, such as physical activity and a diet containing vegetables, fish, a glass of wine, fruit and loads of olive oil and nuts.

The research was compiled by looking into a Danish panel study that began 25 years ago and which looked into the progress of 761 Danish diabetes patients.

The patients were analysed continuously during the first six years following their diagnosis of diabetes. The patients were weighed and confirmed whether they were trying to lose weight. After a further 13 years, the researchers looked up the patients in the national registry and looked at which patients had survived and which other illnesses they had been diagnosed with.

It turned out the overweight patients who did not succeed at shedding weight lived as long as those who did manage to lose weight.

The research was recently published in the scientific publication Plos One.