What's new since Hippocrates? Preventing type 2 diabetes by physical exercise and diet

Diabetologia. 2012 Mar;55(3):535-9. doi: 10.1007/s00125-012-2460-1. Epub 2012 Jan 21.


Since the work of Eriksson and Lindgärde, published over two decades ago (Diabetologia 1991;34:891-898), we have known that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by supervised lifestyle interventions (physical exercise and diet modification) in persons at risk of the disease. Here we discuss a novel, time-efficient approach to physical exercise prescription, low-volume, high-intensity interval training (LVHIT), and its efficacy for inducing a range of health benefits in a variety of populations at risk of inactivity-related diseases. We look to the future and suggest that current guidelines for exercise may need to be revised to include different training techniques to deliver the optimum exercise prescription. Indeed, we predict that subsequent exercise guidelines will include LVHIT as part of a comprehensive 'fitness menu' that allows individuals to select the exercise regimen that best fulfils their medical needs, is suited to their lifestyle and daily time restraints, and meets their personal goals.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diet therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy
  • Diet*
  • Exercise*
  • Glucose Metabolism Disorders / diet therapy
  • Glucose Metabolism Disorders / prevention & control
  • Glucose Metabolism Disorders / therapy
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Motor Activity
  • Physical Education and Training / trends