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Managing diabetes 2020

How to prevent type 2 diabetes

The UK is facing a diabetes crisis. In the last 20 years, the number of people living with diabetes has doubled; today there are 4.6 million people with the condition. Of these cases, around 90% are living with Type 2 diabetes.

Dan Howarth

Head of Care, Diabetes UK

While there’s nothing we can do to prevent type 1 diabetes, around three in five cases of type 2 diabetes can be prevented, or delayed, by maintaining a healthy weight, eating healthy food and doing regular exercise.

12.3 million people in the UK are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. And type 2 diabetes is as serious as any other type of diabetes, leading to some devastating – even life-threatening –complications.

Know your risk

The first step, towards preventing or delaying type 2 diabetes, is finding out and understanding your risk of developing the condition. One way to do that is with the Know Your Risk tool – an online test that only takes a few minutes, helping you know whether or not you’re at risk and what to do to lower it.

Reduce your risk

If you find out you’re at risk, that means that gives you the chance to make changes that can delay or prevent type 2 diabetes. This is why it’s important to know what to do next, as taking action now will make all the difference to your health in the years ahead. But, where to start?

You can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by eating well, moving more and getting support to lose weight, if needed. You might not feel this is a simple thing to do – feeling overwhelmed is normal – but remember to start with small things you can change about your everyday routine and build up to more. Changing too many things at the same time can make them difficult to stick to in the long run.

Get support

Finding a source of support that works for you can make your journey easier. Talking to your family or friends will help them understand why you’re doing this and why it’s so important to you – you might even inspire them to get involved themselves. You can also find information on how to reduce your risk on Diabetes UK’s website at

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