Around 22,000 people with diabetes die early every year. Type 2 diabetes is a leading cause of preventable sight loss in people of working age and is a major contributor to kidney failure, heart attack, and stroke.
As well as the human cost, Type 2 diabetes treatment accounts for just under nine per cent of the annual NHS budget. This is around £8.8 billion a year.
There are currently five million people in England at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. If these trends persist, one in three people will be obese by 2034 and one in 10 will develop Type 2 diabetes. However, evidence shows that many cases of Type 2 diabetes are preventable.
We can stop it - most people can avoid it
There is strong international evidence that if we have a healthy weight and be more active, we can significantly reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
The Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP) will identify people at high risk and help them change the way they live to avoid Type 2 diabetes.
People referred will get help on healthy eating and lifestyle, help to lose weight and bespoke physical exercise programmes, all of which together have been proven to reduce the risk of developing the disease.
While Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented and is not linked to lifestyle, Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable through lifestyle changes.
Phil in Norwich has been on the course, it has changed his life for the better:
Finding out your risk of Type 2 diabetes only takes a few minutes. It could be the most important thing you do today. Use the diabetes risk tool to find out.
Share the message
Encourage your family and friends to check their risk and raise awareness of the campaign.
Ask your doctor if you are worried - he or she can refer you to the Diabetes Prevention Programme if you need it.