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Influence of Exercise on Appetite in Patients with Prediabetes or Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are increasingly prevalent conditions linked to obesity and poor metabolic health. Lifestyle interventions, including exercise, are crucial for managing these conditions, but their effects on appetite regulation have been less explored. Understanding these effects could enhance diabetes management strategies.

A systematic review analyzed seven studies focusing on patients with abnormal glycemic control. The studies assessed acute and chronic exercise effects on appetite and related hormones like ghrelin, GLP-1, and PYY. The review aimed to clarify whether exercise influences appetite in these patient groups.


Acute exercise, as used in the study, refers to single sessions of physical activity performed within a short timeframe to investigate immediate post-exercise effects on appetite sensations and hormonal responses in patients with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Chronic exercise, as referenced in the study, denotes longer-term exercise regimens consisting of repeated sessions over weeks to months, aiming to explore cumulative effects on appetite regulation and metabolic health markers in patients with abnormal glycemic control.

Key Findings

Acute Exercise Effects

  • Varied Appetite Responses: Acute exercise sessions elicited diverse appetite responses. Some studies reported no significant changes in hunger, satiety, or fullness immediately after exercise, while others observed reduced appetite ratings.

  • Hormonal Responses: Hormonal changes such as decreased ghrelin and increased GLP-1 were inconsistently associated with appetite changes, indicating complex interplay between exercise and hormonal regulation.

Food served

Chronic Exercise Effects

  • Reduced Appetite: Chronic exercise interventions generally resulted in either no change or decreased appetite ratings compared to control conditions.

  • Improvements Over Time: Long-term studies showed improvements in satiety and reduced hunger with aerobic endurance or combined resistance and aerobic training.

  • Hormonal Inconsistencies: Despite improved subjective appetite ratings, hormonal responses (e.g., ghrelin, PYY) did not consistently correlate with changes in appetite, suggesting other factors at play.

Comparison with Normal Glucose Tolerance

  • Differential Responses: Patients with T2DM exhibited distinct appetite responses compared to individuals with normal glucose tolerance. Notably, postprandial fullness and hunger levels differed between the groups.

  • Hormonal Variations: Hormonal profiles (e.g., ghrelin levels) were consistently altered in patients with T2DM, influencing appetite regulation differently from those with normal glucose tolerance.


Clinical Insights

  • Weight Management Support: Exercise-induced reduction in appetite could aid weight management efforts in patients with T2DM, potentially contributing to improved glycemic control and cardiovascular health.

  • Personalized Exercise Plans: Considering the variability in appetite responses, personalized exercise prescriptions tailored to individual needs and responses are crucial.

  • Integration with Other Interventions: Combining exercise with dietary modifications and other lifestyle interventions may enhance overall diabetes management outcomes.

What Does This Mean for Patients with T2DM?

  • Enhanced Metabolic Control: Regular exercise, especially when tailored to individual responses, can help regulate appetite, potentially reducing the risk of overeating and weight gain.

  • Long-term Benefits: Sustained exercise programs that promote satiety and reduce hunger may support long-term adherence to healthy lifestyle behaviors, essential for managing T2DM effectively.

  • Hormonal Considerations: Despite hormonal variations, the overall trend towards reduced appetite post-exercise suggests favorable metabolic adaptations that could mitigate complications associated with T2DM.

Practitioners should consider individual variability in appetite responses when prescribing exercise for patients with prediabetes or T2DM. Future studies integrating diet and lifestyle factors alongside exercise could provide more comprehensive insights into managing these conditions effectively.



The systematic review underscores that chronic exercise tends to reduce appetite in patients with prediabetes or T2DM, which could support weight management and improve metabolic outcomes. However, individual responses vary widely, highlighting the need for personalized exercise prescriptions and further research into long-term energy balance effects.

Future Directions

Further research should explore the combined effects of exercise, diet, and other lifestyle factors on appetite regulation and energy balance in patients with prediabetes or T2DM. This holistic approach could optimize diabetes management strategies and improve patient outcomes.

By summarizing these findings, healthcare professionals and researchers can better understand how exercise impacts appetite in diabetes management, paving the way for tailored interventions that address both metabolic health and quality of life.



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