Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) and the Action for Health in Diabetes (Look AHEAD) Study: Lessons Learned

  • Bethany Barone GibbsEmail author
  • John M. Jakicic
Part of the Contemporary Diabetes book series (CDI)


The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) and the Action for Health in Diabetes (Look AHEAD) Study were important, large, randomized trials that evaluated the effects of a lifestyle intervention, including diet and physical activity, in persons at risk for or with type 2 diabetes. The DPP Study found that a lifestyle intervention targeting ≥7% weight loss and ≥150 min/week of physical activity effectively reduced diabetes incidence by 58% over an average of 2.8 years. Though weight loss was a stronger predictor of decreased diabetes incidence in DPP, achieving the targeted 150 min/week of physical activity predicted greater weight loss, was easier for participants to achieve (vs. the weight loss target), and decreased diabetes risk by 44% even when weight loss and dietary fat goals were not achieved. These findings strongly support physical activity for diabetes prevention. The Look AHEAD Study evaluated whether a lifestyle intervention targeting ≥7% weight loss and ≥175 min/week of physical activity could reduce major cardiovascular events in adults with preexisting diabetes. After an average 9.6 years of follow-up, the lifestyle intervention was not effective for reducing cardiovascular events as compared to the control group. Despite the failure to find a benefit on the primary outcome, increases in physical activity and, to a greater extent, cardiorespiratory fitness were independently related to more weight loss, better glycemic control, reduced cardiovascular risk factors, and increased health-related quality of life among Look AHEAD Study participants. Thus, physical activity that increases fitness remains an important part of treatment recommendations for adults with type 2 diabetes.


Physical activity Cardiorespiratory fitness Diabetes prevention Diabetes treatment Lifestyle intervention Randomized clinical trials Weight loss 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Health and Physical ActivityUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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