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The waiting game

Almost 90,000 patients complete national diabetes prevention programme

A total of 89,604 people have completed the NHS diabetes prevention programme, losing an average of 2kg each.

According to new figures released by NHS England, patients who finished the scheme lost a combined weight of 185,052kg.

The programme, which was launched in 2016, lasts for nine to 12 months and is designed to stop or delay the onset of diabetes.

The scheme entails patients receiving education on dieting, physical exercise programmes and advice on weight loss through healthy eating.

The programme was given the green light for a national roll-out in April last year - with the aim of treat 200,000 people annually - but no timescale was given for meeting the goal.

Professor Jonathan Valabhji, NHS national clinical director for obesity and diabetes, said: ‘Around two-thirds of adults and one-third of children are now overweight or obese, driving higher and higher rates of type 2 diabetes that we are now focusing huge efforts to prevent as part of our NHS long-term plan.

‘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.’

Diabetes UK assistant director of policy and campaigns Helen Dickens said: ‘The NHS diabetes prevention programme is so much more than just a weight loss programme. It has helped thousands of people find out more about their risk of type 2 diabetes as well as take action to reduce it.’

Figures released early last year showed patients completing the flagship scheme lost almost 60,000kg between them.

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