The Look AHEAD Trial: A Review and Discussion Of Its Outcomes

Curr Nutr Rep. 2014 Dec;3(4):387-391. doi: 10.1007/s13668-014-0099-x.


The LookAhead trial was a randomized controlled trial comparing an Intensive Lifestyle Intervention (ILI) to a Diabetes Support and Education (DSE) in overweight and obese type 2 diabetes patients to track the development of cardiovascular disease over time. The triaI intervention was stopped for futility after a median follow-up of 9.6 years. While there was a differential effect on weight loss and fitness between the two groups, there was no effect on cardiovascular outcomes. Cardiovascular events were less than half the projected rate per year in the DSE group: thus there was a very low over-all rate of events in both groups. There were many other health benefits of ILI, including improved biomarkers of glucose and lipid control, less sleep apnea, lower liver fat, less depression, improved insulin sensitivity, less urinary incontinence, less kidney disease, reduced need of diabetes medications, maintenance of physical mobility, improved quality of life and lower costs.

Keywords: Randomized controlled trial; cardiovascular outcomes; cost; diabetic complications; intensive lifestyle intervention; obese; overweight; quality of life; type 2 diabetes.