Diabetes roadshow in town centre proves a success

Health / Mon 12th Aug 2013 pm31 01:46pm

118 people in Harlow were referred to their doctor by a Healthy Lifestyle Roadshow having been identified as being at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, say Diabetes UK and Bupa.

The charity offered free diabetes risk assessment tests to 232 people to identify their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes now and in the next 10 years. 118 people were referred to their GP for further advice, as their risk of diabetes was moderate to high.

The roadshow also offered advice and encouragement on lifestyle changes, such as adopting a healthy diet low in fat, salt and sugar and taking regular physical activity. Up to 80 per cent of Type 2 diabetes cases could be prevented from these lifestyle changes.

Diabetes UK is the charity partner for the Bupa Great Run Series, and the money raised from these runs is being used to fund the Healthy Lifestyle Roadshow.

Barbara Young, Diabetes UK Chief Executive visited the roadshow on Wednesday (August 7). She said: “Diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges facing the UK today. It’s frightening that there are more than 3,400 people in West Essex (which includes Harlow) that have Type 2 diabetes but have no idea they do. It is also concerning that there are so many people at risk of the condition. Today we’ve been available to help people find out more about their own personal risk, as well as providing valuable information and advice which we hope will help them live more healthily.

“Diabetes is a serious, lifelong condition and the number of people living with it is on the rise. The first step to stopping this increase is making people aware of what they can do to prevent Type 2 diabetes. We want to let them know that we are here to support them make the changes they need.”

Newly appointed Bupa UK Managing Director Richard Bowden also visited Harlow and was risk assessed. He said: “We’re pleased that the Diabetes UK roadshow in Harlow has helped to educate so many about the risks factors associated with Type 2 diabetes. We strongly believe that prevention is key, so it’s essential to empower people to make the simple lifestyle choices that can have significant health benefits. Bupa’s purpose is to help people lead longer, healthier, happier lives and this roadshow takes us a step closer to achieving this goal.”

Harlow Town Council Chair Linda Pailing also had a risk assessment said: “It’s really great that the Diabetes UK Healthy Living Roadshow has come to Harlow. It’s brilliant to see the work the charity is doing in the local community and the impact it is having on people living here.

“I was really pleased to be invited to take a Type 2 diabetes risk assessment, and it has made me much more aware of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes and the lifestyle changes I need to make. The risk assessment gives you the power and the knowledge to take your health into your own hands. I think everyone should go and have a risk assessment – it’s a fantastic thing to be aware of.”

There are 12,900 people in West Essex who have been diagnosed with diabetes. When diagnosed early and managed well, people living with the condition can go on to live long and healthy lives. But if Type 2 diabetes is left untreated or blood glucose levels are not well managed, the condition can result in serious health complications such as heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and amputation.

Local people who were unable to attend the Roadshow can still test whether they are at risk of diabetes by taking the free Diabetes UK Risk Score test online at www.diabetes.org.uk/roadshow/riskscore1. If after taking the test they are found to be at moderate or high risk of developing the condition they should visit their GP.

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