The people of Leighton Buzzard are being invited to find out for free their risk of getting Type 2 diabetes and how to reduce it. Diabetes UK has organised the roadshow, kindly sponsored by the chairman of Central Bedfordshire Council, Councillor David Bowater, which will roll in on Monday May 1 and Tuesday May 2.
The roadshow on Bank Holiday Monday will run from 10am to 5pm at the May Fair outside Pizza Express in the Market Square and then on Tuesday May 2 the roadshow will move to the car park of Leighton Buzzard Tesco in Vimy Road from 9am to 5pm.
Around 60,000 people are at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in Bedfordshire. With these figures set to rise significantly it’s crucial that people find out their risk and make changes now to delay or even prevent themselves developing this serious health condition.
It is also estimated that there are more than 6,000 people are living with undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes in the county. Left untreated or poorly managed, diabetes can cause devastating complications such as amputation, blindness, kidney failure and stroke.
Visitors to the Know Your Risk Roadshow can find out their risk of Type 2 diabetes, free of charge, by answering some simple questions and having their height, weight and waist measured.
Sharon Roberts, Diabetes UK Regional Head in the East, said:
“Three out of five cases of Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed if people take action. At the Know Your Risk Roadshow, people in Leighton Buzzard can have a private consultation with our friendly trained volunteers and a dietitian who can help you identify small changes to make now that could improve your future health. Finding out your risk is easy. There are no blood tests and it doesn’t take long, but it could be the most important thing you do that day.”
As Chairman of Central Bedfordshire Council and a diabetic with Type 2 diabetes I am well aware of the benefits of early detection of diabetes. Last year we spent time fund-raising for Diabetes UK and also raising awareness about diabetes throughout Central Bedfordshire and today I am delighted that we have been able to bring this amazing “Know Your Risk Roadshow” to the area.”
Unlike Type 1 diabetes which is not linked to lifestyle and cannot be prevented, the most important risk factor for developing Type 2 diabetes is being overweight especially for those who are large around their middle. This is something people can do something about by maintaining a healthy weight through eating a healthy diet and taking regular exercise.
Other risk factors for Type 2 diabetes, which cannot be changed, are ethnicity – being South Asian, African-Caribbean, Black African – being aged over 40 (or over 25 if you are South Asian), and having a parent, child, brother or sister who has diabetes.
For anyone who can’t attend the Leighton Buzzard Know Your Risk roadshows, you can find out your risk of Type 2 diabetes online at diabetes.org.uk/knowyourrisk. For more information about diabetes, visit www.diabetes.org.uk