Northampton-based Brian Mitton, 76, had wrestled with his health and weight for over two decades. So, when a blood test revealed he was borderline diabetic, he didn't hesitate to join the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme in the hope of making long-lasting changes.

"I didn't need an incentive to join. My brother-in-law died from diabetes-related complications and the thought of not being here for my family spurred me into action.

"I had a heart attack in 1999 which led to me dieting for 20 years! Whenever I've reached a healthier weight by eating well and being more active I've always felt much better. Consequently, I know a lot about what's healthy so I needed a mind-set adjustment more than anything else."

Delivered by health services provider Ingeus, the programme aims to support those at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes so they can reduce that risk, delay it, or even eliminate it.

"The educator Henna is really good. She takes the time to listen to everyone and is really positive. She talked about being mindful and gave us suggestions for alternatives to comfort food.

"An added bonus was my wife accompanied me to the sessions. It meant she was on the same page and we could support each other.

"I've lost around 71b (3kg) so far and have made more positive choices around food and activity like cycling while on holiday and taking the stairs whenever I can. "The group had some good ideas for fitting in activity throughout the day like getting up when the adverts are on and walking around - it's really that simple. It's the small changes that are more sustainable.

"I know that families can influence each other and many members of mine struggle with their weight. As a father I want to enjoy my grown-up children and my grandchildren - and I want to be an example, to show that there s a better way."

Ingeus educator, Henna Parmar added: "Brian understands the impact diabetes can have on individuals, and their families, and he's doing really well to incorporate small changes into his lifestyle. This means he has more chance of making his healthier lifestyle last long-term this time. It all adds up and it's certainly well worth it."