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World Diabetes Day x WW Health Solutions

Our in-house medical doctor Ravi explains how WW is helping to tackle and prevent Type 2 diabetes.

Hi, I’m Ravi, a medical doctor working at WW and I’m taking over the WW blog this week for World Diabetes Day.

We’re thrilled that WW has recently become a chosen provider for the NHSE Diabetes Prevention Programme. This means that patients in the pre-diabetic range can now be referred to the WW programme by their GP in specific locations, where they will receive personalised support to reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes, including guidance on healthy eating, weight loss (if required), physical activity and overall wellbeing. This holistic approach has been proven to reduce the risk of developing diabetes. Find out more about our partnership with the NHS. 

We also help our members lose weight and improve their health and wellbeing via our countrywide Tier 2 programme. We offer a free tailored service, which includes digital support as well as being able to join a WW Workshop for 12 weeks. Our goal is to help individuals improve their lifestyle whilst supporting them towards their weight loss goals (losing 5% of your initial body weight can have significant health benefits). This extends to our diabetic members, where we have seen great successes.

 

Meet Caroline

 

Height: 5’4”
Start weight: 17st 1lb
Current weight: 13st 1lb
Goal weight: 12st 8lb

Caroline, 58, from Glasgow, signed up for our Health Solutions programme in April 2018. 

She struggled to lose weight following a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis, but after joining WW on her nurse’s recommendation she lost 4st, dropping from a size 24 to a size 16.

Not only is she now insulin free and in remission, she also has more energy and a “zest for life”.

Caroline says: “Joining WW was the best decision I’ve ever made. I have loads more energy and am enjoying my life again with my family and friends, whereas before I was always too ill or had no energy to do anything. 

“Now I'm insulin free and in remission. I was on cloud 9 for a week when they told me - I couldn’t stop smiling!”

Caroline uses the WW app and website to find new recipes and track her SmartPoints, and attends a weekly Workshop run by WW Coach Michelle. 

She added: “Michelle has been great, and so have all the other WW members in my Workshops. We are all very supportive of each other.”

 

Type 2 diabetes - what you need to know

 

Around 85% of people in the UK with Type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese1

Extra weight can contribute to the development of Type 2 diabetes. This is because excess fat can accumulate around your organs, such as your pancreas and liver, which can result in increased insulin resistance.2 

In turn, this raises blood sugar levels and can cause complications. As well as physical effects, being overweight can impact you emotionally. It can affect your confidence and self-esteem, and getting back to a healthy weight can seem like a steep uphill battle.

Losing some weight can help you to better manage your condition. If you’ve already been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, weight loss can help normalise blood sugar levels and reduce the need for diabetic medication - a major win, as there are numerous side effects associated with the medication. 

 

Get support from WW

 

More than half of all cases of Type 2 diabetes could be prevented or delayed3

The key is to act early, and this is where WW can help. WW is a multi-component lifestyle weight management programme that has a ‘4 pillar approach’ to ensure healthy and sustained weight loss.

  • Healthy eating
  • Physical activity
  • Group support
  • Behaviour change

This ‘4 pillar approach’ is adopted though our WW programme, where we offer weekly Workshops, a comprehensive digital service and an excellent range of education and communication channels. 

Our approach to weight loss, physical activity and mindset is underpinned by current national public health guidance for healthy eating and physical activity.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article and if you sign up to the programme, we wish you every success going forward.

Before starting any new programme or physical activity, it would be useful to speak to your diabetes team/GP as they may need to make adjustments to any diabetes medication you are currently taking, such as reducing the dose.


References

1. https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/enjoy-food/eating-with-diabetes/whats-your-healthy-weight/lose-weight

2. Lim, E.L., Hollingsworth, K.G., Aribisala, B.S. et al. Diabetologia (2011) 54: 2506. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00125-011-2204-7

3. https://www.diabetes.org.uk/preventing-type-2-diabetes/can-diabetes-be-prevented