Preventing type 2 diabetes
Whilst type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, type 2 diabetes is largely preventable through lifestyle changes. Around nine out of 10 people with diabetes have type 2, there are currently two million people in England at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which is a leading cause of preventable sight loss in people of working age and is a major contributor to kidney failure, heart attack, and stroke.
As well as the human cost, type 2 diabetes treatment accounts for around 10% of the annual NHS budget.
Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme
The Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, also known as the Healthier You programme, identifies people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes and refers them onto a nine-month, evidence-based lifestyle change programme.
The Healthier You programme is available both as a face-to-face group service and as a digital service. When referred into the programme, people are free to choose between the two.
People on the face-to-face group service receive personalised support to manage their weight, eat more healthily and be more physically active – which together have been proven to reduce a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The digital service offers similar support but through the use of digital tools such as wearable technologies that monitor levels of exercise, apps where users can access health coaches, online peer support groups and the ability to set and monitor goals electronically.
Research shows the Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme has reduced new diagnoses of type 2 diabetes in England, saving thousands of people from the potentially serious consequences of the condition. It cuts the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by more than a third for people completing the programme.