I MAKE no apologies this week in continuing to talk about how the lifestyle we all adopt can have a direct impact on our health and wellbeing.

Each year more and more people are being diagnosed with Diabetes, a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become far too high. If not managed correctly it can cause a loss of sight and be a contributor to other serious health conditions such as kidney failure, heart attacks and strokes.

According to Diabetes UK there are 3.7million people in the UK currently diagnosed with the disease and 12.3 million people with an increased risk of contracting Type 2 diabetes.

No lifestyle changes will lower the risk of developing Type 1 diabetes; however Type 2 is largely preventable with the right kind of diet, regular exercise and by maintaining a healthy weight. Besides lifestyle, ethnicity can be a contributing factor with people from BAME communities at a greater risk of diabetes and therefore the other long term illnesses associated with the disease.

The Diabetes Community Champions Programme is specifically aimed at reaching out and engaging with people from ethnic minority groups and socio-economically deprived communities.

The role of the Champions is to help educate and raise awareness of diabetes by organising local events, and delivering presentations and talks.

This includes explaining what Type 2 diabetes is, who is at risk, signs and symptoms, myths and misconceptions, complications, and the NHS services that are available to people locally, including the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP).

The Champions will also inspire others to help reduce their risk of diabetes, or to manage their diabetes better.

This will be achieved by providing the right type of support at the right time so that you are empowered to take the right steps to reduce your chance of getting diabetes.

Please take a couple of minutes to look at the Diabetes UK website at: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/get_involved/volunteer/community-champions?amp

My key message is that prevention is much more effective than treatment.