Other research has shown that having less body fat reduces diabetes risk and that exercise can help too, but the new study by UCLA scientists suggests a link between higher muscle mass and a lower risk of diabetes.

"Our findings suggest that beyond focusing on losing weight to improve metabolic health, there may be a role for maintaining fitness and building muscle mass," says Preethi Srikanthan, an assistant professor of medicine in the division of endocrinology at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine.

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