The number of people developing type 2 diabetes could be reduced by 80 per cent if those at high risk of the condition made lifestyle changes, researchers have claimed.
They argue that more should be done to encourage people with prediabetes to make dietary changes and increase their physical activity.
Specialist behaviour clinics
On the back of an investigation into the subject, University of Huddersfield researchers are now calling for specialist behaviour clinics to help those with prediabetes walk away from the condition.
Dr Warren Gillibrand, a senior lecturer from the university, said prediabetes was a “challenging concept for patients and nurses alike” and people needed more education and support to “motivate lifestyle changes”.
But his article added: “This, however, does not need to be medicine led; use of peer and community-based programmes could be not only cheaper, but also have the ability to provide potentially long-term support for people, and would provide continued reduced risk.
“Intervention needs to ensure that it is provided at an appropriate level to account for cultural, social and gender needs. Innovative approaches need to be considered to reduce the number of people who are diagnosed with prediabetes from progressing to type 2 diabetes and its associated potential complications.”
Research from Scandinavia has demonstrated that an 80 per cent reduction in type 2 diabetes was achievable, according to Dr Gillibrand, who added that prediabetes clinics were now widely established in NHS trusts.
He said: “People identified as being at high risk are mainly referred to the clinics by a GP, based on a number of different factors, such as lifestyle, weight, smoking history and biochemical markers.”
Talking-based psychological therapies
He said interventions based around patient education alone were “probably” not “that effective”, adding: “There is a need for other mediators – for example behaviour interventions or talking-based psychological therapies in order to initiate lifestyle change.”
Dr Gillibrand and his fellow researchers are now looking to secure funding for a large-scale evaluation of prediabetes clinics and the different models of educational programme.
The article, called ‘The impact of prediabetes diagnosis on behaviour change: an integrative literature review’ was published in Practical Diabetes International.
After six months of being a member of the Low Carb Program, people with prediabetes achieve an average weight loss of 5kg, an average loss of 3 inches around their waist and increase the amount of exercise they do by an average of 33 minutes.

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