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Can we prevent diabetes?

Diabetes is arguably one of Australia's greatest health challenges and fastest-growing chronic conditions. But landmark research shows that type 2 diabetes could be preventable at any life stage - whether you are still young, starting a family, or middle-old age.

When you dig into the data, diabetes paints a dire picture. According to Diabetes Australia, 280 people develop diabetes every day and it's the leading cause of preventable blindness and more than 4400 amputations a year. People with diabetes are 2-4 times more likely to develop heart disease — and this only skims the surface of the alarming statistics.

However, the University of Sydney has made a leading contribution to exciting new research that reveals a way to prevent type 2 diabetes from developing in most individuals who are susceptible based on age, family history, ethnicity and markers of pre-diabetes. 

PREVIEW is a landmark study in diabetes prevention and weight loss management. Leading researchers from the study will draw on the findings and learnings of PREVIEW – lifestyle interventions and population studies from Europe and around the world – to share new solutions to determine risk, how to avoid developing type 2 diabetes and how to safely lose a large amount of weight. These approaches challenge traditional strategies, such as following a conventional healthy diet. 


This event was held on Tuesday 9 April 2019 at the University of Sydney and was co-presented with Charles Perkins Centre, which is a partner of the PREVIEW study.

The speakers

Jennie Brand-Miller – or GI Jennie, as she is known – is internationally recognised for her groundbreaking work that championed a way to measure differences between foods, now commonly known as the ‘glycemic index’. Her current research includes diabetes prevention. She is the Principal Investigator of the Australian arm of the PREVIEW study, the world's largest lifestyle intervention to prevent diabetes in individuals at high risk.

Anne Raben is the Project Coordinator of the PREVIEW project and head of the Obesity Research Group in the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports (NEXS) of the Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Anne has 20 years of experience working in industry and academia on obesity, human nutrition and diabetes.

Edith Feskens is Professor Nutrition and Metabolic Sydrome and leader of the PREVIEW observational and longitudinal population studies in 5 countries, focusing on the specific role of protein and  carbohydrates in the development of type 2 diabetes

Stephen Colagiuri is Professor of Metabolic Health and Director of the Boden Institute at the University of Sydney. He is also Co-Director, World Health Organization Collaborating Centre on Physical Activity, Nutrition and Obesity. 

Stephen Simpson is Academic Director of the Charles Perkins Centre, foundation member of the Obesity Collective and Chair of its Curators group, and Professor in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Sydney. He has been named NSW Scientist of the Year (2009), elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London (2013) and made a Companion of the Order of Australia (2015). Stephen has also been prominent in the media, including presenting a four-part documentary series for ABC TV, Great Southern Land.

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