People following healthy lifestyle factors, such as healthy diet, regular exercise, maintaining a normal body weight, not over-consuming alcohol and not smoking, can cut the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 80 percent over a period of 11 years, said a new analysis.

According to the analysis done by researchers from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, and National Cancer Institute, Rockville, Maryland, and AARP, Washington, DC, can reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by keeping just one of these five healthy lifestyle habits.

The researchers reported in Annals of Internal Medicine that the connection between diet, smoking status, alcohol consumption, physical exercise, bodyweight, and Diabetes Type 2 risk has been demonstrated by several studies. Leading a healthy lifestyle can help postpone or prevent diabetes, studies showed.

Based on data collected from 114,996 adult males and 92,483 females, researchers have found out that how combined risk factors impact on diabetes risk over a period of 11 years.

Researches gathered data between 1995 and 1996. The people that were examined were 50 to 71 years of age. At the beginning of the study, none of them had any evidence of diabetes, cancer or heart disease.

When the same individuals were examined again after 11 years to figure out how many of them had developed Diabetes Type 2, researchers found that 11,031 of the men (9.6 percent) and 6,969 of the women (7.5 percent) had developed diabetes during the period.

The researchers then did a measurement of the friendship between lifestyle factors and the risk of developing diabetes with the original survey data, and found that individuals with the best lifestyle factors were 80 percent less likely to get diabetes compared to others.

Men of normal weight were 70 percent less likely to develop diabetes, while normal weight women were 78 percent less likely to develop diabetes. On the other hand, people, who were nonsmokers and having a good diet and regular exercise, were about one-third less likely to develop the disease.

Those, who were physically active, got at least 20 minutes of heart-pounding, sweat-inducing exercise three or more times per week.

When it comes to drinking, they used alcohol in moderation, if at all -- two drinks or less a day for men, and one drink or less for women.