HealthDay News — For overweight and obese adults with diabetes mellitus, a long-term intensive lifestyle intervention does not offer cognitive benefits, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Stephen R. Rapp, PhD, from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC, and colleagues examined whether 10 years of lifestyle intervention to induce and maintain weight loss could improve cognitive function. Data were obtained for 3751 overweight and obese individuals aged 45 to 76 years with type 2 diabetes mellitus who were randomized to intensive lifestyle intervention for weight loss through reduced caloric intake and increased physical activity or a control condition of diabetes support and education (DSE).

The researchers observed no significant difference in overall or domain-specific cognitive function for assignment to the lifestyle intervention or DSE. Across prespecified groups, the results were fairly consistent; there was some evidence of trends for differential intervention effects, with modest harm from intensive lifestyle intervention in participants with greater body mass index and those with a history of cardiovascular disease. There was no correlation for cognitive function with changes in weight or fitness.

“A long-term behavioral weight loss intervention for overweight and obese adults with diabetes mellitus was not associated with cognitive benefit,” the authors wrote.


Rapp SR, Luchsinger JA, Baker LD, et al. Effect of a long-term intensive lifestyle intervention on cognitive function: Action for health in diabetes study [published online January 9,2017]. J Am Geriatr Soc. doi:10.1111/jgs.14692