A healthy diet and regular exercise can reduce the long-term likelihood of diabetes by a third in people at high risk of the disease, research has shown.
The benefits of lifestyle changes were greater than those of the diabetes drug metformin, which also helped prevent the disease developing.
Both effects were seen over a period of 10 years when researchers extended a previous study looking at ways to prevent type 2 diabetes. The obesity-linked disease is the most common form of diabetes affecting millions of people.
US researchers completed the original Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) study in 2001. The trial involved more than 3,200 overweight or obese adults with elevated blood sugar levels who were at high risk of type 2 diabetes.
Over a period of three years, intensive lifestyle changes including exercise, reduced calorie consumption and fat intake, and frequent contact with health care professionals, cut the chances of developing the disease by 58pc.