Background: Weight loss (WL) is the initial treatment of choice for adults with t2d, but it is inappropriate for lean patients, unwanted/unsuccessful for some obese individuals, and unsustainable for others. An alternative is needed.

Aim: Because post-prandial glucose (PPG) contributes strongly to A1c, we tested if a treatment focused on reducing PPG by reducing carbohydrate intake and increasing physical activity (Glycemic Excursion Minimization - GEM) would be equal or superior to WL for improving A1c and secondary benefits. We also hypothesized GEM would be enhanced by the quality and quantity of blood glucose (BG) feedback.

Methods: Generally healthy adults (t2d ≤ 10 years, not on insulin, A1c ≥ 6.8) were randomized to WL (n = 36) or one of 3 GEM subgroups: 1) Didactic (GEMD, n = 35) taught participants how to choose low glycemic load foods, reduce sedentary time and increase moderate routine physical activity, 2) Didactic + systematic BG monitoring (GEMS, n =48) before and after meals and physical activity to educate, activate and motivate food and activity choices, or 3) Didactic + continuous glucose monitoring (GEMC, n = 43). WL treatment was led by diabetes nutritionists and followed the CDC Prevent T2 weight loss manual. GEM treatment was led by a diabetes nurse educator. All subjects received 6 hours of training, BG meters and wore activity monitors. A1c, weight, UKPDS, DDS, DES and PHQ-9 were assessed pre and 3 months post treatment.

Results: The GEM subgroups did not differ, so they were combined. Both WL and GEM significantly reduced weight and diabetes distress (regimen). Only GEM significantly improved A1c (8.3 to 7.3, p <.001), cardiovascular risk (p <.001), empowerment (p <.001), and diabetes distress (emotional, p <.02).

Discussion: Lifestyle interventions focused on minimizing PPG by reducing carbohydrates and increasing routine physical activity are effective alternatives to WL. Adding BG monitoring did not significantly enhance GEM’s effectiveness.


D. Cox: Research Support; Self; Dexcom, Inc. T. Banton: Research Support; Self; Dexcom, Inc. M.A. Moncrief: Research Support; Self; Dexcom, Inc. A. Diamond: Research Support; Self; Dexcom, Inc. V. Holmes: None. A. Wolf: None. K. Fang: None. A.L. McCall: None.


Dexcom, Inc. (IIS-2017-047); National Institutes of Health (R01DK108957)

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