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Congleton man loses two stone on diabetes prevention programme

Congleton man loses two stone on diabetes prevention programme
02 April 2019

A Congleton man who lost more than two stone on a diabetes prevention programme has urged others to follow his lead.

Retired local government official Michael Blake made his plea to coincide with the launch of type 2 Diabetes Prevention Week. Meanwhile, the NHS Long Term Plan has announced that the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme which aims to reduce the number of people developing diabetes will double in size over the next few years to treat more than 180,000 people a year.

From July this year, online versions of the programme involving app and wearable technologies will be provided for patients who find it difficult to attend sessions because of work or family commitments.

One programme attendee turned advocate is Michael Blake, a Congleton resident and former local government officer, who was referred onto the programme after an annual blood test which indicated he was "pre-diabetic".

Michael had attended diet groups in the past but said: “The programme is different because it works on lifestyle changes, so you can maintain your weight loss after the programme ends.

“At the beginning of the programme I weighed 20 stone, by the end of the 10-week programme I’d lost two and a half stone and felt a real sense of achievement.

“I also noticed that I have more energy now; I used to play golf once a month and struggle to get round, now I play twice a week with no effort. If you’re recommended to go on this course, I say do it, it could save your life.”

Katie Mills, our clinical lead for diabetes said: “Diabetes and its complications cost over £315 every second to treat and one in six patients in hospital has diabetes. Around nine out of 10 people with diabetes have type 2 which is closely linked to obesity and there is strong evidence that, in many cases, it is preventable.

“A lack of exercise, poor diet and being overweight are all risk factors for developing the disease. The programme is designed to stop or delay onset through a range of personalised lifestyle interventions, including:

  • education on lifestyle choices
  • advice on how to reduce weight through healthier eating
  • bespoke physical activity programmes.

Recent projections show that the growing number of people with diabetes could result in nearly 39,000 people living with diabetes suffering a heart attack in 2035 and more than 50,000 people suffering a stroke.

Professor Jonathan Valabhji, national clinical director of diabetes and obesity, said:

“Around two thirds of adults and one third of children are now overweight or obese, driving higher and higher rates of type 2 diabetes that we are now focusing huge efforts to address, as outlined in the NHS Long Term Plan. 

“I’m delighted that our work so far in this area has been producing really positive results. The weight loss and glucose reduction achieved by the national programme is promising – we hope to help many more of those who are at risk of type 2 diabetes to not get it in the first place.”