NHS England has announced that patients who have completed its NHS type II diabetes prevention programme (DPP) have lost almost 60,000kg between them.

The new figures show 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.

Due to the successful results, the programme is set to double in size, aiming to include around 200,000 people annually as part of the NHS Long Term Plan’s renewed focus on prevention.

The expansion will occur over the next few years, with no official date set as of yet. However, from July online versions of the programme, involving wearable technology and apps, will be available for people who find it difficult to attend sessions in person due to work or family commitments.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “This is hard proof that we can help people with diabetes change their lives by arming them with information and, in the coming months, cutting edge tech. It’s why the Long Term Plan for the NHS, backed by an extra £33.9 billion a year by 2023/24, has prevention at its heart, so we can help more people live longer and healthier lives.”

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.

“This is a great start,” explained Duncan Selbie, chief executive at Public Health England, “but with our increasingly sedentary lifestyles and 6 in 10 people overweight or obese the costs to the NHS are unsustainable. That is why we are doubling the size of the programme to help prevent more people from getting this deadly disease”.