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Reduce your risk of developing diabetes

18 April 2018

People in Bedfordshire are being urged to reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by leading a healthier lifestyle. The advice from NHS Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) comes at the start of Diabetes Prevention Week, which runs from 16-22 April 2018.

Diabetes is a growing concern in the UK. As well as the direct consequences of diabetes to the quality of life, it is also a major contributor to life threatening conditions such as kidney failure, heart attack and stroke.

There are currently five million people in England at risk of developing type 2 diabetes*. By 2034, one in three people will be obese and one in 10 will develop type 2 diabetes. However, for many of these people, diabetes is preventable.

Almost 30,000 people in Bedfordshire are known to have diabetes, which is slightly below the national average, but the number of new cases each year is rising.

If you are overweight or obese, you're at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, so maintaining a healthy weight is key for prevention.  Spring awakens us to new growth, new possibilities, new ways of eating smarter and exercising more. So, now is the perfect time to take action and go for walks, enjoy a bike ride, or get into a new sport.  For more help with health and fitness there’s plenty of advice available at http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/fitness/Pages/Fitnesshome.aspx

Dr Sanhita Chakrabarti, Diabetes Clinical Programme Lead at NHS Bedfordshire CCG said:

“Type 2 diabetes can cause very serious health problems but sadly more people than ever are developing the condition, despite it being largely preventable.  However, the good news is that around three in five cases of type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with some simple lifestyle changes. These include eating a healthy, balanced diet; maintaining a healthy weight; and taking regular exercise.

“Cutting out sugary food and drink and refined grains such as white bread and white rice is an important first step. Effective diets to prevent type 2 diabetes are those that do not cause your body to produce a lot of insulin.

“Carbohydrate has the biggest demand on insulin and so any diet that helps reduce carbohydrate intake will help towards reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes. You should aim to have a balanced diet by including plenty of vegetables and include healthy sources of fat such as unsalted tree nuts (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts), olive oil, avocado, oily fish, meat and full fat dairy.”

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