Parveen can keep up with her kids after reducing her risk

Parveen Ahkter

“If I’d carried on the way I was, my health would have deteriorated and then who would have been able to look after my family?”

Mother of two young children, Parveen Ahkter, noticed that she had put on weight after having her children and becoming a carer to her parents. The 44-year-old from West Bromwich had tried different diets, but nothing seemed to help her lose weight. She began to think more seriously about her heath following a lifestyle assessment delivered by her local council.

“When you’ve had a C-section, weight seems to gather around your tummy, and this was bothering me.”

Parveen has high blood pressure and a family history of diabetes. A quick online search one day led her to Diabetes UK’s Know Your Risk tool – a simple questionnaire that checks your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Parveen’s score came back as ‘at risk’ – luckily, the remote service was just what this busy mum was looking for.

“The Know Your Risk tool was really quick and simple to fill out, I was surprised to receive a call back from the Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme only a few days later.

“It was perfect timing because I wanted to get help to lose weight from a trusted source that was also free”.

The Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (Healthier You programme) is an evidence-based programme designed to support people to reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes through healthy and realistic changes.

She began the group sessions online in August 2020 delivered by health coach, Jamie Gregg.

“The sessions really help to give tips each week for what to focus on. They also help to get you back on track if you fall off. The educators are really nice, and Jamie always makes time to answer questions before or after the sessions, going above and beyond to help me.”

With the group’s support, Parveen has found an approach that is finally helping her lose weight and lead a healthier lifestyle in a way that works for her.

“The sessions have taught me about portion control – I now think about how much food I am putting on my plate. I also make sure to buy lots of fruits and veg when I go shopping.’

Sharing that her family were not particularly active before, she has also found the information about physical activity to be helpful. Although frequently doing housework, Parveen realised she needed to get her heart beating faster. She has been able to increase her activity levels at her own pace and has noticed the positive effect on her body.

“I feel great that I can actually run and not end up gasping. I can now run up and down the stairs with my children and not find it difficult.”

For more information about the Healthier You programme, visit or check your risk via the Diabetes UK’s Know Your Risk tool.