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B. Type 2 Diabetes: Treatable and Preventable

Narrator: This is Science Today. Diabetes consumes one out of seven health care dollars in the United States. The vast majority of diabetics are Type 2. Unlike Type 1's, their bodies make insulin, which is essential for life, but a muscle defect prevents them from using it efficiently. Dr. Robert Henry of the University of California, San Diego says Type 2 diabetes is often preventable.

Henry: We clearly know that Type 2 diabetes can be markedly improved and perhaps prevented by a proper diet and an exercise regimen. Those are the two most important features of this disease, in contrast to many other diseases that are not amenable to changes in lifestyle.

Narrator: Henry says the most important thing for a Type 2 diabetic is not to become obese. He points out that losing even five or ten pounds will make a dramatic difference and may delay the progression of the disease.

Henry: Exercise helps in two ways. One, it consumes calories and improves the sensitivity of the muscle. But in addition it allows and it increases the likelihood that one will be able to keep weight off.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Steve Tokar