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Walk the walk

Walking half an hour every day can help people lose weight and inches of their waistline, reducing their risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Researchers at the Duke University Medical Centre, USA, studied the effects of different amounts and intensity of physical activity on 171 middle-aged overweight people over an eight month period. At the start, 41 per cent had Type 2 diabetes risk factors such as larger waistlines, higher blood glucose and blood pressure levels, compared to 27 per cent at the end of the study.

Results also showed that people who jogged 17 miles a week gained slightly more than those who walked 11 miles a week.

“It is vital that we reinforce the importance of physical activity to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes and its associated complications such as heart disease, stroke and blindness," said Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive at Diabetes UK.

“Around 300 people are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes every day. These soaring rates are directly linked to the nation’s expanding waistline and our sedentary lifestyles. A large waist, 37 inches for men and 31.5 inches for women, is a risk factor of Type 2 diabetes.

"Diabetes UK urges people who have a large waist and at least one other risk factor such as being over 40, having a family history of diabetes or being of black or South Asian origin, to ask their doctor for a simple blood test.”

The research is published in the American Journal of Cardiology.

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