Objectives: The prevalence of type 2 diabetes in Israel is increasing in all ethnic groups but most markedly in the Bedouin population. We aimed to assess the effects of a lifestyle change intervention on risk markers for type 2 diabetes after gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Methods: One hundred eighty Jewish and Bedouin post-GDM women were randomly assigned to a lifestyle intervention group (IG) or a control group (CG) starting 3–4 months after delivery. The IG participated in healthy lifestyle sessions led by a dietician and a sports instructor for 24 months after delivery. The IG participants had three individual 45-min counseling sessions and four 90-min group meetings (10 women each). The dietary and exercise recommendations were culturally adapted. The primary outcome of the study was HOMA-IR. We monitored clinical and chemical biomarkers 1 and 2 years after delivery. Results: After 1 and 2 years of intervention, the metabolic measures improved substantially. The intervention reduced the insulin, glucose and HOMA-IR levels in the IG compared with those in the CG (p < 0.001). Conclusions: This novel culturally tailored lifestyle intervention program significantly improved the metabolic and morphometric indices measured 1 and 2 years after delivery. These results highlight and underscore the importance of effective lifestyle change education following GDM.
- Metabolic parameters