Will lifestyle courses reach enough people to reduce numbers of diabetes patients?
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended the NHS provide intensive exercise and weight loss help to people at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Director of the centre for guidelines at NICE, Professor Mark Baker, said changes in diet and exercise can reduce a person’s risk of developing the disease.
He said: ‘This approach is a cost-effective way of managing an illness that currently costs the NHS around £8.8bn a year.’
Healthcare professionals such as GPs, community nurses and pharmacists should refer people with raised blood sugar levels to exercise and nutrition courses, such as the healthier you NHS diabetes prevention programme, NICE recommends.
NICE also recommends population and community level interventions to prevent the disease, with opticians, dentists, community leaders, workplaces and others getting involved to raise awareness.
Approximately 3.8m people in the UK have diabetes, of which 90% have type 2.