In a recent study, 3234 non-diabetic patients with elevated glucose – a high-risk population for developing diabetes – were assigned to either a placebo, metformin (a diabetes drug) or lifestyle change involving at least 7% weight loss and 150 minutes of physical activity per week. The average length of time for follow-up was 2.8 years. Results showed that after this time the incidence of diabetes had been reduced by 58% in the lifestyle intervention group as compared to the placebo, whereas metformin group had reduced their incidence of diabetes only 31%.1
This has been backed up by numerous other studies and one particular study suggested that lifestyle change could reduce the incidence of disease by 20% and delay the development of diabetes by 11 years as compared to Metformin which only resulted in an 8% reduction in disease and delayed onset of diabetes by 3 years.
Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group, New Engl J Med 2002;346(6): 393-403