Bromley scheme cuts risk of type 2 diabetes by 70%
PUBLISHED: 16:51 13 June 2016
The pioneering initiative will now be rolled out in other areas
A pioneering scheme to reduce the number of type 2 diabetes cases in Bromley has been hailed as a big success.
The Weight Watchers Diabetes Prevention Programme (DPP) has been proven by two independent studies to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 70 per cent through its lifestyle change-based programme and will now be rolled out in Buckinghamshire.
Bromley was selected to trial the initiative as it had the third-highest prevalence of obesity in London and it was decided that a proactive scheme needed to be put in place.
Some 130 GP-referred patients took part, and by the six-month mark of the trial 70 per cent of participants were no longer at risk of diabetes, while a further 17 per cent had reduced their risk significantly.
Carolyn Piper, public health programme manager for the London Borough Bromley, said: “Bromley was incredibly pleased to be chosen as the first borough in Britain to trial the Weight Watchers programme.
“Two years on from its introduction, we continue to see its positive effects in our community every day. When first trialled, Bromley ranked as having the third highest prevalence of obesity in London and it was clear a proactive plan needed to be put in place.
“Now, Bromley has fewer people on the brink of type 2 diabetes and this will have direct and immediate impact on the person, but also on our health services. To have witnessed such success without the addition of strain on an already burdened healthcare system is heartening.”
Diabetes costs the nation £10 billion every year, with 80 per cent of this total spend allocated to complications arising from the disease.
There are five million Britons with pre-diabetes, and the Association of Public Health Observatories predicts the total healthcare cost of the condition to rise to £16.9 billion by 2035/2036.
Last year, a study of DPPs by Public Health England revealed that on average they could be successful in preventing 26 per cent of people at high-risk prediabetes from going on to fully develop the condition.
The Weight Watchers DPP focuses on making better lifestyle choices, and improving nutrition and activity habits, in order to avoid contracting the condition.