The Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme has been running in Sefton since June 2016, supporting individuals to lead healthier lifestyles and reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The programme lasts for 52 weeks and consists of a 7 week education phase and a further 5 follow-up sessions over the course of the remaining weeks.
Recently, a cohort based in Ainsdale Village Church, Sefton completed the programme. Over the course of the 52 weeks, they had an attendance rate of 96.2% and achieved some very promising results. All participants started the programme with a HbA1c that classified them as being in the pre-diabetic range. Following completion of the programme, all participants had reduced their HbA1c to a normal, healthy range with an average reduction of 6 points.
Participants also experienced significant weight loss, losing an average of 4.4kg across the duration of the programme. They also reduced their waist circumference by an average of 4.9cm and their blood pressure improved. Finally, their wellbeing improved over the 52 weeks. They were asked to complete the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale at the start and end of the programme and scores improved from an average of 59 to an average of 62.
Pauline and Julie were two of the participants in this cohort of the programme. They both enjoyed the course and found themselves gaining a number of benefits from attending.
“I found the food and exercise diaries really helpful in showing me areas that I could improve. It was really useful to have group discussions as sometimes you can feel that you are on your own so it’s good to know that other people are going through those experiences with you.”
“The programme has been really helpful. Although I was already looking after myself quite well, I have learned a lot about what makes a really good diet and I have now lost weight, which I think is really great! I feel better and I’m more aware of diabetes and the problems it can cause. You get to meet other people who have different problems to you and you can talk and help each other out. It’s always good to meet new people, especially if you live alone.”
If you are White and over 40, South Asian, African-Caribbean or Chinese and over 25, overweight or have a family history of Type 2 diabetes you may be at increased risk of diabetes. If you think you might be at risk of developing diabetes and would like to join a programme, you can:
Visit diabetes.org.uk/risk to get an estimate of your risk from their risk calculator
Get a free NHS Health Check to assess your risk of diabetes and other conditions
Visit your GP to ask for a blood test