Diabetes Diagnosis and Weight Loss in Middle-Aged Adults.

Using three waves of Health and Retirement Study data, this study investigated whether (a) self-reported physician-diagnosed diabetes prior to 1994 predicted weight loss between 1994 and 1996 in adults who were aged 51 to 61 and relatively healthy but overweight in 1992 (n = 2,642) and (b) socioeconomic status influenced that relationship. The authors found that these overweight middle-aged adults were at least 50% more likely to report that they lost at least 10 pounds of excess body weight if they had been diagnosed with diabetes than if they had not. Furthermore, the authors found that neither education nor net worth predicted weight loss in these adults. Identifying the social, psychological, and physiological mechanisms linking chronic conditions and health behaviors can inform policy makers and health care providers and enhance the development of effective interventions to prevent or reduce health risks in middle-aged and older adults.