Experts search for the perfect mix of diet and exercise to beat diabetes

29 Oct 2013 16:14:30.273

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Scientists at The University of Nottingham are looking for volunteers for a new study which aims to find the right lifestyle to help prevent Type 2 diabetes (T2D).

T2D is one of the fastest growing chronic diseases worldwide. This is thought to be due to the ever-growing number of people who are inactive and are becoming overweight or obese. Now, as part of the largest study of its kind, experts at the University are looking to find out the best way to eat, drink and exercise to try and tackle the growing epidemic.

The PREVIEW Project has been set up to find out what is the most effective lifestyle (including diet and physical exercise), to prevent T2D in those who are at risk of developing the disease.

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Now, to help scientists find out the best combination, they are looking for 315 men and women aged between 25 and 45, or 55 to 70, to take part in the three year study.

Trial participants will attend regular meetings to follow a specific lifestyle programme, based on one of two diet types, and one of two forms of exercise. One diet is based on increasing carbohydrates, lots of fibre and a moderate protein intake and the other includes increasing protein intake and less, but more slowly absorbed carbohydrates.

One fitness programme involves moderate exercise such as a brisk walk for 150 minutes a week and the other high-intensity exercise such as jogging for 75 minutes a week.

Dr Liz Simpson, a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Life Sciences at the University, said: “We cannot make guarantees that the study will help people, but we hope that those who take part will become healthier and fitter over the three years. All participants in PREVIEW will be at risk of developing T2D, and in this study all interventions are known to decrease this risk or promote a healthy lifestyle — we just don’t know if one diet is superior to the other, or if one type of exercise is better than the other.

“I think it’s an amazing study in that it’s a long term support for people who want to change their life. Just from talking to the people who have already called and expressed an interest in the trial at the moment, they’ve got to the stage where they want to do something. They’ve tried a bit of this and that — but now want serious help.

“We are hoping that through the input of fitness instructors and dieticians, and by monitoring their lifestyles, that it will motivate people to take control of their lives and do something to improve their health.”

Eight countries will be involved in the trial, and there will be 2,300 subjects in total. In the UK it will be run by The University of Nottingham and Swansea University and the other countries participating are Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Spain, Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand.

If you are interested in finding out more about the study, then please contact the Clinical Trials Administrator Clare Randall on 0115 7484639 or email 

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also the most popular university among graduate employers, the world’s greenest university, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the World's Top 75 universities by the QS World University Rankings.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

Story credits

More information is available from the Clinical Trials Administrator Clare Randall on 0115 7484639 or email

Charlotte Anscombe – Media Relations Manager (Arts and Social Sciences)

Email:  Phone:+44 (0)115 74 84 417 Location: University Park

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