Overweight Brits will be given free gym sessions and healthy eating classes in an attempt to prevent Type II diabetes.
There are 4 million people with diabetes in the UK – 90% of these people have Type II diabetes, linked to being overweight or obese. Whilst the condition can easily be prevented through a healthy lifestyle, new cases are being diagnosed at a staggering rate of 200,000 a year.
As part of a new NHS scheme, 100,000 people will be placed on a £7million programme aimed at controlling diabetes, which currently costs the NHS £10billion a year. This is more than we spend on the police and fire services combined! The issue is so severe, that charities have said that if we continue to fail in fighting the diabetes issue, the NHS could be left bankrupt.
Those accepted on the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme will be put onto carefully monitored, personalised exercise programmes for nine months, and educated on weight loss and healthy eating. They’ll work with fitness professionals and personal trainers to improve their eating habits, learn how to prepare healthier meals, maintain a more active lifestyle and shift the excess weight. This will ultimately help them to take control of their own health and lessen their risks of developing this life-threatening condition.
Those at the highest risk of diabetes will be selected for the scheme first, and GPs will refer patients who are at high risk of developing the condition, through being overweight or having high blood sugar levels to join the programme over the next few years.
This is an opportunity not just for Personal Trainers, but for qualified Exercise Referral Specialists and Obesity & Diabetes Specialists to join the fight against obesity, in order to prevent the illnesses associated with it.
Chris Askew, chief executive of the charity Diabetes UK, has described the initiative as a “significant step in the right direction”. He says: “This will provide them with the best possible chance of reducing their risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and living a long full healthier life.”
The scheme will be available from today, initially for 20,000 people across 27 areas of England which will be followed by a national roll-out by 2020.
Unless we set in place solid changes to tackle the obesity crisis, 60% of us could be obese by 2030. One in 10 are likely to develop Type II diabetes, leading to numerous complications including cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, eye disease, depression and amputation.
Let’s make a change and educate the nation for a fitter future.
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