More than 600 people in Morecambe Bay have been highlighted as at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and referred onto a national prevention programme.
The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme helps those who are identified as at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes to lose weight.
The NHS Long Term Plan announced that this programme will double in size over the next few years to treat around 200,000 people a year.
Nationally, more than 17,000 people have now completed the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme and have achieved a combined weight loss of over 50,000 kg - equivalent to the weight of four double decker buses.
Deborah Slater, Advanced Nurse Practitioner, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The Diabetes Prevention Programme is a free programme for those who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Making small changes to an individual’s lifestyle now can make a big impact on future health.
“It is a key role as a health professional to encourage and signpost people across Morecambe Bay on how they can get help to make positive changes to their diet, weight and physical activity with the aim to significantly reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Knowing your risk is a good way of starting by either using a simple online tool such as the Risk Score on the Diabetes UK website or talking to your GP or health professional.”
From July this year, online versions of the programme, which involve wearable technologies and apps to help those at risk of Type 2 Diabetes, will be provided for patients who find it difficult to attend sessions because of work or family commitments.
Diabetes and its complications cost over £10 billion every year to treat and one in six patients in hospital has diabetes. Around nine out of 10 people with diabetes have Type 2 which is closely linked to obesity and there is strong evidence that it is preventable in many.
A lack of exercise, poor diet and being overweight are all risk factors for developing the disease.
The programme is designed to stop or delay onset through a range of personalised lifestyle interventions, including:
- Education on lifestyle choices
- Advice on how to reduce weight through healthier eating
- Bespoke physical activity programmes
Recent projections show that the growing number of people with diabetes could result in nearly 39,000 people living with diabetes suffering a heart attack in 2035 and over 50,000 people suffering a stroke.
Professor Jonathan Valabhji, national clinical director of diabetes and obesity said: “Around two thirds of adults and one third of children are now overweight or obese, driving higher and higher rates of Type 2 diabetes that we are now focusing huge efforts to address, as outlined in the NHS Long Term Plan.
“I’m delighted that our work so far in this area has been producing really positive results. This weight loss and glucose reduction is promising – we hope to help many more of those who are at risk of Type 2 diabetes to not get it in the first place.”
You can access the Risk Score on Diabetes UK, by visiting: https://riskscore.diabetes.org.uk/start.