This 12-month, randomized, controlled lifestyle intervention study was aimed at assessing the effectiveness of a lifestyle intervention in terms of (1) the reduction of at least 5% of body weight compared to baseline and (2) the percentage of participants in which fasting blood glucose (FBG) normalizes (<5.6 mmol/L) post-intervention, in predominantly overweight/obese Saudi adults with impaired fasting glucose. A total of 300 Saudi adults with prediabetes at baseline (FBG 5.6-6.9 mmol/L) were enrolled to receive either general advice (GA) or a rigorous, self-monitored, lifestyle modification program (intervention group, IG) for 12 months, focused on food choices, physical activity, and weight loss. Anthropometric and biochemical estimations were analyzed at baseline, 6, and 12 months. At baseline, 136/150 in the GA group (90.7%) and 127/150 in the IG group (84.7%) were either overweight or obese. A total of 14% (n = 21) of the subjects in the IG arm discontinued, compared to 8% (n = 12) in the GA arm. Data from completers (92% (n = 138) and 86% (n= 129) participants in GA and IG arms, respectively) were considered for the final analysis. Post-intervention, 37.2% (n = 48) of participants in the IG group had ≥5% weight reduction, as compared to 12.3% (n = 17) in the GA group (p < 0.01). Similarly, the percentage of participants who normalized their FBG post-intervention was 46.5% (n = 60) in the IG group compared to 21.7% (n = 30) in the GA group (p < 0.01). A 12-month Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP)-styled intensive lifestyle program translated effectively in decreasing weight and improving fasting glucose compared to the GA group in predominantly overweight/obese Saudi adults with prediabetes, suggesting that in the case of guided intervention programs, people are willing to participate and possibly change a sedentary lifestyle.
Keywords: dietary modifications; fasting blood glucose; impaired glucose regulation; lifestyle intervention; physical activity; type 2 diabetes.