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Debate around use of the term ‘prediabetes’

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It was reported in the news only a few weeks ago that more people than expected have prediabetes in the UK.

There has been a discussion about the term ‘prediabetes’ and whether it should be used or not. Our Chief Executive Barbara Young released the following comment about the term ‘prediabetes’.

“While there may be arguments and discussions around the exact criteria and definitions of prediabetes, it is undeniable that there are a staggering number of people who have Type 2 diabetes or show signs of being at risk of developing it. And this number is getting higher and higher.

“Being identified as having prediabetes, borderline diabetes or being at high risk provides an opportunity for those people who have a major chance of developing Type 2 diabetes, a lifelong condition which is associated with extremely serious complications such as blindness and stroke, to walk away from it.

“Knowing that up to 18 million people in the UK potentially fall into the category of having prediabetes highlights the need for public health interventions in order to avoid a dramatic increase in Type 2 diabetes in the future.

“The focus here really needs to be on how to inform people about their risk of Type 2 diabetes, how to get them engaged and motivated to make changes and how to provide them with the necessary support to do so. Currently, this isn’t happening.

“Eating a healthy balanced diet, low in salt, sugar and fat and rich in fruit and vegetables, as well as being physically active is the best way of reducing the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Healthcare professionals should support people who have a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes, whichever way this has been identified."

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