Diet and weight loss did not prevent heart attacks or strokes in overweight people with Type 2 diabetes according to a study reported on in The New York Times.
In fact, the study ended two years earlier than planned because it was clear there was no difference between the control group and the test group, which had nearly identical rates of heart attacks, strokes, and cardiovascular deaths.
Researchers believed diet and exercise would help reduce that risk because an earlier study found that an intense diet and exercise program helped prevent overweight people from crossing the line into diabetes.
The study randomly assigned 5,145 overweight or obese people with Type 2 diabetes to either a rigorous diet and exercise regimen or to sessions in which they got general health information. The diet involved 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day for those weighing less than 250 pounds and 1,500 to 1,800 calories a day for those weighing more. The exercise program was at least 175 minutes a week of moderate exercise.
But 11 years after the study began, researchers concluded it was futile to continue — the two groups had nearly identical rates of heart attacks, strokes and cardiovascular deaths.
The investigators are analyzing their data and will be publishing them in research papers.