The prevention of type 2 diabetes has become a major global health priority given its morbidity, mortality, and economic impact. Making lifestyle changes such as decreasing dietary fat consumption, increasing fiber consumption, and increasing physical activity levels has been shown to delay and prevent the onset of diabetes. The authors argue that yoga could have this impact.
The authors found that most researchers conclude that what makes yoga effective is the metabolic changes resulting from increased cardiovascular activity and increased caloric expenditure.
This is the foundation for the purpose of the study. It is tough to run high-quality randomized controlled trials about the benefits of any exercise. When you assign your group the intervention versus the control, they know whether they’re doing the intervention or not. If you’re comparing yoga to nothing, the subjects know they’re in the yoga group. Or if you’re comparing yoga to other exercises, the subjects will know. This affects the outcome of the research. This is a general problem in this kind of research. In a medical trial, if someone receives a sugar pill, they’ll think that it’s the medication. So what is the equivalent of the sugar pill in a controlled trial about yoga poses? Sham yoga poses. The authors developed sham yoga poses so that the subjects don’t know which intervention they’re in because beliefs and expectations around yoga could influence the outcome.