Diabetes causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high, and those suffering from the condition are advised to eat healthily, exercise regularly and have regular checks including blood tests.
Type 2 diabetes is often linked with being overweight or not engaging in much physical activity. Some sufferers will have a family history of type 2 diabetes.
For those at risk of developing the condition, there are some lifestyle changes people can make to reduce their chances, including swapping out sugary drinks for ones without added sugar – such as water, milk, tea and coffee.
The experts at Diabetes UK said: “Things like your age, ethnicity and family history can all contribute to your overall risk. We also know that having obesity is the most significant risk factor. If you know you have obesity, losing weight is one way you can prevent type 2 diabetes.
To reduce your risk of diabetes, try plain water, plain milk, tea or coffee without added sugar
“And eating a healthy, balanced diet is way great way to manage your weight. Any amount of weight loss can help, research shows losing even 1kg can help to reduce your risk. There are so many different ways to lose weight, so it’s important to find out what works best for you.”
Not everyone at risk of developing type 2 diabetes will be overweight, but eating healthily is still important regardless of size.
Many people focus on the amount of sugar in their food and forget about the sugar in their drinks.
The experts said: “We know there is a link between having full sugar fizzy and energy drinks, and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Cutting down on these can help to reduce your risk and support keeping your weight down.
“Evidence also shows that drinking unsweetened tea and coffee is associated with a reduced risk.”
They advised people at risk to look for diet or low-calorie alternatives of their go-to drinks, checking that there’s no added sugar.
However, they issued a warning to Britons when it comes to their replacements.
The experts advised: “Try not to replace sugary drinks with fruit juices or smoothies as these still contain a high amount of free sugar.