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HHS HealthBeat: Walking and weights works against diabetes

Released: Tuesday, January 18, 2011

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Being physically active, along with eating right, can help to control diabetes. But what kind of activity? At the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana, researcher Timothy Church examined this in data on 262 people with type 2 diabetes. Some walked, some weight trained, and some did both. The program continued for nine months.

Church says skeletal muscle is critical to blood sugar control, and aerobic and resistance training likely benefits muscle in different ways:

``The best way to keep that skeletal muscle chewing up as much blood sugar as possible throughout the day is the combination of walking and weight lifting.’’ 

The study in the Journal of the American Medical Association was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.


The Pennington Biomedical Research Center is at the forefront of medical discovery as it relates to understanding the triggers of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia. It is a campus of Louisiana State University and conducts basic, clinical and population research. The research enterprise at Pennington Biomedical includes approximately 58 faculty and more than 18 postdoctoral fellows who comprise a network of 40 laboratories supported by lab technicians, nurses, dietitians, and support personnel, and 13 highly specialized core service facilities. Pennington Biomedical’s more than 500 employees perform research activities in state-of-the-art facilities on the 222-acre campus located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.