Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Nutrition


Food Science and Nutrition


College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences


Angelos Sikalidis

Advisor Department

Food Science and Nutrition

Advisor College

College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences


Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a chronic condition recognized as the inability to maintain glucose homeostasis, typically presenting with insulin resistance and systemic inflammation. With the prevalence of T2DM and major risk factors such as prediabetes and obesity increasing each year, there is a crucial need to identify strategies for the management and prevention of this condition. Addressing lifestyle-related risk factors through consumption of a well-balanced, nutritious diet and maintaining regular moderate- to high-intensity physical activity may provide a strategy for improving glycemic control, improving metrics of body composition, and decreasing the inflammatory response associated with metabolic dysregulation. Twenty-two overweight to obese adults with a medical diagnosis of T2DM, indicators of prediabetes, or who were metabolically healthy participated in Cal Poly’s Nutrition and Exercise in Type 2 Diabetes (CPNET) study. The study protocol included adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet, daily consumption of a high-quality whey protein supplement, and adherence to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans for 16 weeks. Body composition data, via dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), and fasting blood samples were collected at baseline and following the intervention. Due to restrictions associated with the global COVID-19 pandemic, only 13 participants were able to return for the second data collection following the 16-week intervention. The prediabetic and T2DM groups exhibited reductions in fasting plasma glucose to that of normal and prediabetic levels, respectively, while the T2DM group also showed improvement in hemoglobin A1c to the prediabetic level. Additionally, the metabolically healthy, overweight group demonstrated significant improvements in adiposity, while the obese prediabetic and T2DM groups showed non-significant improvements in all measured metrics of body composition. No changes were observed in inflammatory biomarkers. Thus, our results suggest that adherence to a well-balanced nutritious diet and regular physical activity may improve parameters of glycemic control and provide benefits to body composition that help manage and prevent the development of T2DM.