‘Lifestyle switch’ of losing weight healthier food has saved thousands of adults from developing diabetes, research shows
- Over 15,000 fewer people were diagnosed with diabetes due to an NHS scheme
- A Manchester University study found the lifestyle change programme worked
- One in ten people in the UK are predicted to develop type 2 diabetes by 2030
A lifestyle overhaul has saved thousands in England from getting type 2 diabetes, research reveals today.
The obesity crisis led to an epidemic of type 2 diabetes, which is linked to being overweight and inactive, with one in ten predicted to have the condition by 2030.
But researchers at Manchester University found the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme resulted in around 18,000 fewer people being diagnosed with it in England between 2018 and 2019.
The nine-month programme involves group weight loss classes and personalised diet plans which recommend healthier food swaps, like replacing rice with bulgur wheat.
Participants can wear wristbands which monitor their sleeping patterns and how often they eat, and can set themselves goals.
Researchers from Manchester University found the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme helped thousands not develop type 2 diabetes through making lifestyle changes like attending weight loss classes and having diet plans (file photo)
The Manchester University (pictured) research found there was a 7% reduction in new diagnoses for type 2 diabetes in England between 2018 and 2019 – which they think is due to the NHS programme
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Terri Hurdman, 49, was diagnosed in 2020 with cancer that had spread to her lungs.
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More than four million people in the UK live with type 2 diabetes and the NHS spends £10billion a year on the condition and its complications, which include ulcers, amputations and damage to vision.
The 18,000 fewer diagnoses linked to the NHS’s programme represents a 7 per cent reduction in new cases between 2018 and 2019.
One million patients have been referred to the scheme since it was launched in 2016.
And those who complete it reduce their risk of developing the condition by 37 per cent, according to the research, which is due to be presented at the Diabetes UK Professional Conference this week.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the results were ‘excellent’, adding: ‘It’s vital we focus on prevention and provide advice on healthy eating and exercise.’
Tariq Khan, a 35-year-old chef from Birmingham, started the programme in 2019 as he was at high risk of type 2 diabetes.
He has lost more than 13lb (6kg) on the programme and said: ‘I was eating unhealthily and often very late. The programme has enabled me to get control of my health by making changes to my lifestyle.’