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 and 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. For people living with type 2 diabetes, the risk of dying in hospital with COVID-19 is also twice that of people who don’t have the condition.
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. It is a joint service from NHS England and NHS Improvement and Diabetes UK.
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.
The Healthier You programme is delivered across England by a range of providers. Find contact details for the provider of the programme in your area.
Know your risk of type 2 diabetes
You can get help to make positive changes to your diet, weight and physical activity to significantly reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Find out if you’re at risk of developing type 2 diabetes by doing any of the following:
- Answering a few simple questions on the ‘Know Your Risk’ tool at riskscore.diabetes.org.uk
- Taking up the offer of a free NHS Health Check to assess your risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other conditions such as high blood pressure (available for those aged 40-74)
- Asking your GP Practice to check if you are at risk.
If you are at risk, you may be eligible for referral to the Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme by your GP Practice.
If you have any general queries about the Healthier You programme, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that we will not be able to refer you onto the programme or answer individual questions about your eligibility. Instead, find contact details for the provider of the programme in your area.