Call for thousands at risk of Type 2 diabetes in West Midlands to take action

Thousands of people who are at an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in the West Midlands are being urged to prevent or delay the onset of the condition.

In the Midlands, 67,838 people have attended the first session of the programme
In the Midlands, 67,838 people have attended the first session of the programme

The call comes ahead of Diabetes Prevention Week, which runs from May 23 to 29.

Over 67,000 people in the Midlands have already been spared Type 2 diabetes thanks to the world leading Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme.

People enrolled in the programme get advice on healthy eating and exercise that can prevent them developing the condition, avoiding the need for medication and complications such as amputations.

In the Midlands, 67,838 people have attended the first session of the programme since it was first launched in 2016, with an average weight loss of 3.7kg, six months after attending the first session.

For those who attend the session at nine months, the average weight loss is 5kg.

Professor Vinod Patel, clinical director diabetes at NHS England & NHS Improvement in the Midlands, said: "The numbers of people at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes are ever increasing in the West Midlands.

"So, there has never been a better time to lose weight, exercise more and eat more healthily.

"Living with obesity is the single greatest risk factor and extra weight gained as people lived through the COVID pandemic, means people are at higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

"The good news is that people such as Bryan are significantly reducing their risk by making small lifestyle changes with support from their local NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme.

"The Programme lasts between nine and 12 months and is designed to stop or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes through advice and support on healthier eating, weight management and physical exercise"

Bryan Samuels, aged 54, from Burton upon Trent, had a referral from the hospital because his blood sugar was high and on the borderline of Type 2 diabetes.

He said: "This was a wake-up call that I needed to do something as it was a bit of a health scare

"As it is a lifestyle programme, I started to see the benefits after around six months.

"I think differently now, have lost two stone and my blood sugars have reduced dramatically.

"By going on this programme, it’s made me a lot healthier, fitter, energetic and I have more confidence in myself."

Anyone who is at risk of Type 2 diabetes who would like more information on the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme or have any other concerns related to their health, should contact their GP practice.

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