NHS England has reported that after the national roll-out of the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, those taking part have lost a whopping combined weight of 185,051kg; equivalent to the weight of 43 ambulances.
In April this year the plan was doubled in size, after figures showed that the 17,000 people who attended most of the healthy living sessions lost an average of 3.4kg, over one kilogram more than originally predicted.
89,604 people have now finished the programme, marking the service as a world first of its kind to have achieved a full national roll-out.
The programme is designed to stop or delay onset of type II diabetes through a range of personalised lifestyle interventions, including education on lifestyle choices, advice on how to reduce weight through healthier eating and bespoke physical activity programmes.
The organisation also announced a digital drive as part of NHS Long Term Plan back in August, stating that “thousands” of people who are at risk of type II diabetes would receive digital support to prevent them developing the condition as part of the plan.
As a result, around 30,000 people with type I diabetes have already benefited from the life-changing technology – wearable glucose monitors – since it was made available widely on the NHS.
Around “two-thirds of adults and one-third of children are now overweight or obese, driving higher and higher rates of type II diabetes that we are now focusing huge efforts to prevent as part of our NHS Long Term Plan,” explained Professor Jonathan Valabhji, NHS national clinical director for obesity and diabetes.
He continued to say, “Helping people avoid diabetes is potentially life-saving, so these results are encouraging, but ultimately the NHS cannot win the fight against obesity alone, which is why we are providing people with the tools to help themselves – changing lives and freeing up vital NHS resources.”
Around nine out of 10 people with diabetes have type II, and there were over a million obesity diagnoses in hospital patients last year.
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 over 50,000 people suffering a stroke and one in six hospital beds are occupied with someone with diabetes.