The National Health Services (NHS) has launched a new type 2 diabetes prevention programme across the UK under which free cooking and exercise classes will be offered to people with type 2 diabetes and their families.
Announced by NHS chief executive, Simon Stevens, the new programme will begin with local trials throughout England with first trials slated for south and central Birmingham, Bradford, Durham, Herefordshire, Medway, Salford, and Southwark & Lambeth. If the trials are successfully, the programme will be established nationally.
According to NHS the new programme has been developed in response to studies in various countries including the USA, Japan, China, India, and Finland where it was indicated that intensive lifestyle changes could reduce rates of type 2 diabetes by as much as 60 per cent.
Although there are a number of factors that can influence and trigger development of type 2 diabetes, one of the most important factors and also the biggest contributors to the disease is unhealthy lifestyles – poor diet, lack of exercise, and obesity.
Simon Stevens, explained: “For over a decade we’ve known that obesity prevention cuts diabetes and saves lives. If these results were from a pill we’d doubtless be popping it, but instead this programme succeeds by supporting people to lose weight, exercise and eat better.”
Everyone over the age of 40 – 25 in case of ethnic minority groups – will be offered an initial check-up to assess the risk of type 2 diabetes. People who fall under the high risk category of type 2 diabetes will be offered support with “weight loss, physical activity, cooking and nutrition, peer support plus telephone and online support from trained professionals.”
Alongside this initiative, NHS has also announced a weight-loss programme for its overweight staffers where they will be offered free Slimming World classes as well as help from psychologists and specialist dieticians.