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Understand your risk of Type 2 diabetes and how to prevent it

23 May 2022

Today marks the start of Diabetes Prevention Week (23 to 29 May) and Richmond Council is urging residents to find out their risk and make healthy changes to their lifestyle to prevent the disease from developing.

It is estimated that 15,000 people living in the borough, and 2 million people living in England are at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, which can lead to serious health complications.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body either does not produce enough insulin, and/or the insulin it does produce does not work properly. It is the leading cause of vision loss in people of working age and it’s responsible for most causes of kidney failure. Additionally, people with diabetes are at least twice as likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke than those without diabetes. Did you know that you can easily find out your risk by using the Diabetes UK Know Your Risk Score?

The risk factors associated to Type 2 diabetes include:

  • Your age. The older you are, the greater your risk is likely to be.
  • Your family history. You are two to six times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes if you have a parent, brother, sister or child with Type 2 diabetes.
  • Your ethnicity. You are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes if you are over 25 and from a Chinese, South Asian, Black Caribbean or Black African ethnic background.
  • Your weight. You are more at risk if you carry excess weight or have obesity.
  • Your blood pressure. You are more at risk if you have ever had high blood pressure.

The good news is that you can significantly reduce your risk by making small lifestyle changes. These include:

  • Eating well – try making healthy food swaps, such as swapping salted peanuts for unsalted mixed nuts. The NHS Eatwell Guide has plenty of advice as to how to eat a healthy diet.
  • Moving more - try these easy-to-follow videos or sign up to a free Friendly Parks for All activity, which include Wellbeing Walks where you can discover the borough’s green spaces along with others.
  • Losing weight if you need to – check whether your weight is within the healthy range using the healthy weight calculator. If not, eat well and move more.

Those at risk can also sign up to the free local Richmond Healthier You programme – a personalised prevention programme that will support you to eat well, move more and lose weight (if needed).

If you have any questions about Type 2 diabetes, you can ask health professionals onboard the Council's new 'Come and have a chat' outreach bus, which will be at Kew Community Trust on 30 and 31 May from 10am to 3pm. 

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Up to: May 2022

Updated: 25 May 2022

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