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Diet, physical activity and behavioural change can effectively promote weight loss in patients with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes, two Cochrane reviews conclude.
Recent research has found GPs are sceptical of the benefits of weight loss schemes and unconvinced they fall within the remit of primary care.
But the first review, of nine studies covering 5,168 patients with pre-diabetes, found long-term non-drug weight loss interventions 'significantly' increased weight loss.
An evaluation of four studies with a follow-up of one year found the strategies cut weight by 2.8kg compared with usual care.
Three of five studies on the effect of weight loss schemes on incidence of diabetes found a 'significant' reduction.
A second review of 22 studies on 4,659 patients with type 2 diabetes found 'small' increases in weight loss.