The term obese describes a person who’s very overweight, with a lot of body fat. Obesity is believed to account for 80-85 percent of the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. — © Digital Journal

Approximately 37 million people in the US have diabetes, and 90–95 percent of them have type 2 diabetes. This chronic condition can be easily managed with the right diet and regular exercise, despite the fact that it might seem overwhelming. A recent study showed that a personalized nutrition can help to manage or even prevent diabetes.

While the incidence of diabetes and prediabetes represents a difficult challenge, Kilo Health’s latest research about health trends highlights how improved eating can be instrumental in helping manage diabetes. This is especially the case with data-driven personalized nutrition, which carries the potential to cut diabetes growth.

Diabetes and prediabetes are among the greatest health challenges faced by the nation. According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), diabetes affects 37.3 million people in the U.S. alone. This is equivalent to 11.3 percent of the population.

There are several barriers to self-management of diabetes and prediabetes. One of these is simply a lack of awareness: according to the CDC, 8.5 million people in the U.S. are living with undiagnosed diabetes. The numbers are higher when it comes to prediabetes: more than 80 percent of people with prediabetes are unaware that they have it.

One solution to the problem is self-management through diet and exercise, although there is a challenge to overcome in that of the time and effort needed. According to a study published on Science Direct, Challenges And Perspectives For The Future Of Diabetes Epidemiology In The Era Of Digital Health And Artificial Intelligence, “it takes more than 600 hours per year to manage the disease yourself, to make decisions, daily, on treatment, diet, physical activity, relations with the entourage or the professional environment.”

Another challenge is vague advice like “eat better and exercise more”. This rarely produces the desired results. The one-size-fits-all approach is often ineffective at best and harmful at worst, leaving the person frustrated and discouraged. 

Klinio Medical Advisor, RD Terri Ryan, CDCES, tells Digital Journal: “When it comes to nutrition, if you ask 10 people for advice, you could get 10 completely different opinions. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all diet, especially for people with diabetes. There is no such thing as a ‘diabetes diet.’ Nutrition has to be individualized for each person.”

In other words, a solution exists with personalized nutrition and activity: a comprehensive plan tailored to the patient’s specific needs and requirements. To support this, advances in technology are opening up new and exciting possibilities for effective, easy-to-understand treatments for diabetes and prediabetes.

A 2022 study titled Personalized Nutrition For People With Diabetes And At Risk Of Diabetes Has Begun, suggests that “with the development of technologies, personalized nutrition/precision nutrition has gradually become more practical in order to treat individual diabetes.” 

“It appears that the interplays of diets and genomes, gut microbiome, gut transit time, insulin sensitivity, cultural, social, and economic factors should all be considered to create a personalized treatment for an individual’s chronic metabolic disease,” the study concludes. “This probably can be achieved through the integration of personalized nutrition and personalized food intervention with the development of technologies and advances in food and nutrition sciences.”

In addition, Klinio data shows that 5 percent of patients reported a noticeable difference when using a personalized meal plan for diabetes or prediabetes management compared to other methods.

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