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C. How Populations at High Risk of Diabetes Can Ward Off the Disease

Narrator: This is Science Today. Obesity is a bigger problem in the U.S. than ever before. Not coincidentally, so is diabetes. Dr. Alka Kanaya of the University of California, San Francisco is working to figure out what the growing number of people at risk for diabetes can do to ward off the disease.

Kanaya: Very, very small amounts of weight loss will make a big difference in a diabetic. So if you weigh 400 pounds and you lose 12-14 lbs, it makes a huge difference. If you weigh a hundred fifty pounds and you lose 12 lbs, it makes a big difference.

Narrator: A recent long-term study found that obese people who were at risk for diabetes could prevent the disease with only small lifestyle changes. These changes include losing only a few pounds and making time for moderate exercise.

Kanaya: What I mean by moderate exercise was brisk walking. So this isn't running on a treadmill, this isn't aerobics. It's going out with your friend, going around the block. So you walk about 30 minutes at kind of a moderate pace.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.