Points to Remember

  • Insulin is a hormone that helps cells throughout the body absorb glucose and use it for energy. Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body produces insulin but does not use it effectively.
  • Insulin resistance increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.


  • The major contributors to insulin resistance are excess weight, especially around the waist, and physical inactivity.
  • Prediabetes is a condition in which blood glucose or A1C levels—which reflect average blood glucose levels—are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes.


  • The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) study and its follow-up study, the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study (DPPOS), confirmed that people with prediabetes can often prevent or delay diabetes if they lose a modest amount of weight by cutting fat and calorie intake and increasing physical activity.


  • By losing weight and being more physically active, people can reverse insulin resistance and prediabetes, thus preventing or delaying type 2 diabetes.


  • People with insulin resistance and prediabetes can decrease their risk for diabetes by eating a healthy diet and reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, increasing physical activity, not smoking, and taking medication.


  • The DPP showed the diabetes medication metformin to be most effective in preventing or delaying the development of type 2 diabetes in younger and heavier people with prediabetes and women who have had gestational diabetes.


Excerpts from:  NIDDK

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