When 56-year-old Harry Matharu from High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire discovered he was at risk of Type 2 diabetes, he made the commitment to do something about it – and that included signing up to the 10-month Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme.

Harry’s GP referred him to the programme when a routine blood test showed raised readings. The first thing he learnt was that making simple lifestyle changes could lead to a significantly reduce risk. He took no more convincing and made the commitment to do all he could.

“My job is largely desk-based and the opportunity to take exercise whilst I am working is virtually non-existent,” said Harry. “However, my determination not to develop diabetes is strong, and so I have started swimming each day, being more careful about what I eat, and generally looking after myself.

“The result is that I have lost a stone and a half since February, and I feel so much better for it. I used to be a member of my local gym but stopped going several years ago. My weight crept up and I was on the slippery slope of growing old a little too gracefully!

“I’ve found the diabetes prevention programme to be really interesting and have learnt about how my body uses the food I consume,” he added. “I am gaining the knowledge to halt my progression toward becoming diabetic and I’m grasping this opportunity with both hands.”

Type 2 diabetes usually appears in middle-aged or older people, although more frequently is being diagnosed in younger overweight people. It occurs when the body is not making enough insulin, or the insulin it is making is not being used properly.

“Around 4.5 million people are living with diabetes in the UK, and around 700 people are diagnosed with the disease every day,” said Vidya Gandhi from Ingeus, who leads Harry’s Healthier You programme. “These are worrying statistics, but the reality is that so many people can avoid Type 2 diabetes by making small adjustments in their lives. Harry is discovering that it’s not difficult, and his health is already benefitting as a result.