A Bexhill chef is one of more than 1,400 people in the South East to have completed the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme.
The scheme sees people at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes given help to lose weight and lead healthier lifestyles. Those in the South East to complete the programme have achieved a combined weight loss of over 5,500kg, while the 17,000 people to have completed the programme nationally have achieved a combined weight loss of over 50,000kg.
The NHS Long Term Plan announced the programme will double in size over the next few years to treat around 200,000 people a year.
From July this year, online versions of the programme, which involve wearable technologies and apps to help those at risk of Type 2 diabetes, will be provided for patients who find it difficult to attend sessions because of work or family commitments.
A total of 52,783 people in the South East have already been referred into the programme, with 18,751 progressing to an initial assessment and 1,469 completing the programme.
Chef Kuldeep Raj was one of the people who took part in the programme. Now he is out of the danger zone and in better health than ever.
With a newborn daughter and two businesses to run, Kuldeep rarely stopped but when he started to feel unwell, he went to his GP to get a health check. A blood test revealed he had a high risk of getting Type 2 diabetes so he was referred to his local NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme. After just three months he had lost 13kg and his blood sugar levels had returned to safe levels.
The 39 year-old father said: “It was a shock to get the diagnosis but I wanted to make changes right away. Especially because my mum has diabetes and there’s a predisposition in the family.”
Kuldeep is so determined he closes his restaurant so he can attend the programme which meets in Bexhill and looks at the causes of Type 2 diabetes, encouraging participants to achieve a healthy weight, be physically active and eat a balanced diet.
He added: “As a chef I know how to make tasty meals but I can’t say I was educated on the effects each food group has on the body. I learned how much we need of each category and the importance of portion sizes. The educator, Jo, didn’t suggest crash dieting; instead, she proposed we start slowly to let healthier eating become a normal part of life. It’s more of a lifestyle change.”
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