Simple lifestyle changes are enough to delay - or even prevent - type II diabetes, the disease of our modern way of life that can lead to more serious problems such as heart disorders.
Researchers from a Beijing hospital made the discovery when 577 adults with impaired glucose tolerance - a precursor for diabetes - changed their diet or started exercising for six years, and compared them against a control group that made no changes.
They found that the lifestyle changes didn't just have a protective effect during the six active years, but for up to 14 years afterwards, too. The diet and exercise group had a 51 per cent lower incidence of diabetes during the six years, and a 43 per cent reduced rate in the 14 years of follow-up.
(Source: The Lancet, 2008; 371: 1783-9).