In a bid to prevent Type 2 diabetes from spreading, well-known community voices including celebrity chefs Atul Kochhar and Anjum Anand and media medic Dr. Ranj Singh have joined the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme and urged South Asians to preventive measures.

The programme is supported by the South Asian medical community and faith organisations, including the South Asian Health Foundation, the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO), British Sikh Nurses, British Islamic Medical Association and the Hindu Council UK.

It is believed that South Asians are up to six times more likely to develop diabetes than white people and that if not diagnosed, it can lead to blindness, kidney failure, loss of a limb and can also increase the risk of a heart attack.

Dr. Singh said, “Although the risk of developing this condition is higher in people from a South Asian background, it’s not a given and can be prevented. Just making some simple changes could significantly reduce the chances”.

Meanwhile, urging people to take care of their health, professor Vinod Patel, Clinical Director at Diabetes NHS England, said, “there are several risk factors for Type 2 diabetes, some of which, such as your age or your family history that can’t be changed. However, it is really important for the community to take heed that there are other risk factors such as your weight”.

The programme is urging people from the South Asian community to know their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes through using the ‘Know Your Risk’ tool hosted by Diabetes UK.

Furthermore, it supports people to make positive changes to their diet, weight and the amount of physical activity they do to significantly reduce the risk of developing this disease.

Expressing the concern about Type 2 diabetes, TV chef Anjum Anand said, “Type 2 diabetes is a serious issue within the South Asian community and that’s why I’m supporting this campaign from NHS England. A healthy and balanced diet is key to helping to reduce your risk but people often have the misconception that healthy means bland, which is so far from true”.

Echoing a similar stand, Dr. Bhasha Mukherjee, Celebrity Supporter of Diabetes UK, said, “I know only too well the devastating impact type 2 diabetes can have on South Asian communities. It’s time to talk about it, and it’s time to act. People from South Asian backgrounds are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes”.

She added, “”We must put a stop to this, but we can only do so by raising awareness. So please, make visiting the Diabetes UK’s Know Your Risk tool to find out your risk, your top priority”.