Every two minutes someone finds out that they have Type 2 diabetes, a potentially serious health condition that can cause long-term health problems. It can lead to sight loss, kidney failure, loss of a limb, and makes you at least twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke.
In this short blog, Dana Hayes, Public Health Project Manager from Camden & Islington Public Health gives an overview of the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme and various ways the programme can support you survive Type 2 diabetes.
Black and South Asian people have a higher risk of getting Type 2 diabetes from the age of 25. In Camden, 4% of the population has diabetes. However, 9% of people with diabetes in Camden are from black ethnic groups and 7% are from Asian ethnic groups.
Diabetes can lead to serious complications if left untreated. It is also associated with an increased risk of death from COVID-19, particularly among people from black and Asian ethnic groups. Read more on this here.
That’s why it’s so important to know your diabetes risk. You can find out your risk by visiting the website here.
Check your diabetes risk and if you’re eligible you can refer yourself to the free NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme. The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme is a free 9- month group programme, which includes:
- nutrition guidance and support
- goal setting
- strategies and tools to help you make lasting changes
- physical activity sessions and advice.
You will have an individual one-to-one meeting with a health coach to assess your health and wellbeing, and understand your individual needs, motivations and programme goals. Due to the COVID-19, the programme is currently delivered remotely, either online or over the phone and with materials sent to you in the post. The programme is delivered in 15 languages as well.
Martin in Camden completed the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme and here’s what he has to say about it:
Martin’s Story to beat Type 2 Diabetes
We spoke to Martin after he completed the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme in Camden to share his experience of the programme and his results with us.
How has the programme increased your awareness of Type 2 diabetes?
I really didn’t know much about Type 2 diabetes and how severe the long-term effects could be. The programme has very much so increased my awareness and made me more conscious of how important the change was.
Were there any difficulties you faced whilst changing your lifestyle and what were these?
There were some mental barriers, as at the start of the programme it can seem quite daunting making changes. I focused on the classes and taking on board what the coaches said, and being surrounded by people in the same situation was very encouraging.
What sessions during the nine months did you enjoy the most?
The group activities where we looked at case studies and had to advise people who were dealing with similar issues to us. Also, sessions where we looked at specific foods and meals to break them down and understand the fat and sugar content. Having real-life scenarios alongside scientific content was very helpful.
Would you recommend the programme to others?
I would recommend it, as the content is great, and I really think that teaching about the effects of Type 2 diabetes is truly eye-opening. It is so important to have the knowledge, the more you know the easier it is, the encouragement on the programme is great. Also, I lost a total of 11.4kg and feel confident to sustain my weight loss.
Find out if you are at a high risk of diabetes and refer yourself to the free NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme by doing the assessment here.