ISLAMABAD: A plant-based vegetarian diet not only trumps a conventional diabetic diet when it comes to helping people with type 2 diabetes to lose weight, but because it more effectively reduces muscle fat, it also helps them to improve their metabolism.

These were the main findings of a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition by lead author Dr. Hana Kahleová, director of clinical research at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington D.C., and colleagues.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and develops because the body does not make or use insulin effectively. Although it can develop at any age, it most often arises in people who are middle-aged and older.

Diabetes is a significant global public health problem that affects some150 million people worldwide. This number is expected to double by 2025, not only as a result of growing numbers of people and aging populations, but also because of modifiable factors such as sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy diets, and obesity.

In the United States, there are more than 29 million people living with diabetes and another 86 million are thought to have prediabetes, a condition in which blood sugar is higher than normal, and although not in the diabetes range, it raises the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

It is recognized that people with prediabetes can cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by more than 50 percent by taking part in structured programs to change their lifestyle.