Being overweight and over the age of 40* are two key risk factors for developing Type 2 diabetes yet new research reveals that 41 is the average age that people in the UK 'let themselves go'.
The survey, commissioned by Lloydspharmacy to mark the start of Diabetes Week, also shows that more than a third of people over 40 wish they could turn back the clock on their health. And 34% said if they could turn back the clock, they wouldn’t allow themselves to become overweight.
More than 100,000 people are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes every year in the UK. This equates to around 275 new cases every day or one every five minutes.
Despite diabetes being one of the biggest threats to the health of the nation, 42% of those questioned said they didn’t understand what Type 2 diabetes was and a quarter couldn’t even name one complication associated with the disease, such as limb amputations, cardiovascular disease or blindness.
Lloydspharmacy has today launched its "Diabetes - are you at risk?" campaign to help people recognise the risk factors for Type 2 diabetes which include being overweight, being over the age of 40, having a close family member with diabetes and having an unhealthy lifestyle (full list below).
Alison Freemantle, diabetes expert at Lloydspharmacy, said: "Our research shows that many over 40s feel they’ve let themselves go and have regrets about putting on weight over the years - but they’re not necessarily making the link between being overweight and the risks of developing diabetes.
"Type 2 diabetes is an incredibly serious condition with nasty complications that can arise if it’s not diagnosed early enough. The good news is that for many people, it is possible to turn back the clock on their risk.
"Adopting a healthier diet and lifestyle, losing weight and staying physically active can delay the onset of diabetes - or even prevent it completely.
Today we are urging people to have a diabetes check-up so that they understand their risk and can take steps to reduce it if necessary."
For the first time, people can now assess their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes on their iPhone or android smartphone via the new Lloydspharmacy Diabetes Check-up app.
People can also have a diabetes check-up to assess their risk at their local Lloydspharmacy. Those found to be at high risk are invited to have a free diabetes blood glucose test.
Other key findings from the research:
- 42% felt they had 'let themselves go' highest percentage in the West Midlands (51%)
- When asked if they could turn back the clock on aspects of their life:
- 40% said they would be happier now
- 34% wouldn’t allow themselves to become overweight (41% of woman / 28% men)
- 1 in 4 said they would stop smoking
- 1 in 4 said they’d be in a better relationship
- 34% they would look after their health better (30% women / 38% men )
- 26% would eat more healthily
Diabetes risk factors:
You are at increased risk if you:
- are caucasian (white) aged over 40
- are Asian/African-Caribbean, black African or of Chinese descent and aged over 25
- have a parent, brother or sister with diabetes
- are overweight - the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes increases by up to ten times in people with a body mass index of more than 30
- do not do much exercise
- have given birth to a baby weighing more than 4kg (8lb 8oz)
- had high blood glucose levels when you were pregnant
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