South Asians are encouraged to use a new NHS platform to find out if they are at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

The ‘Know Your Risk’ tool, hosted by Diabetes UK, asks users to answer questions about their health and lifestyle and calculates their level of risk of developing diabetes.

People at risk could be legible for the Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, a joint initiative from NHS England, NHS Improvement, Public Health England and Diabetes UK.

The programme helps people to make positive changes to diet, encourages weight loss and supports an increase in physical activity to reduce the risk of developing diabetes.

People from South Asian populations are up to six times more likely to develop diabetes than white populations. Diagnosis of the condition can cause additional health complications including blindness, kidney failure, loss of limbs and increased chances of heart attacks or strokes.

Further risk factors of Type 2 diabetes include old age, a family history of diabetes, being overweight and high blood pressure. Recent data also shows that diabetes has been found in nearly a third of people who have died due to the Coronavirus.

Tariq Khan, a 35-year-old chef from Birmingham, signed up to his local Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme in November. He has lost nearly a stone in weight whilst taking part in online sessions and is positive about the impact of the programme on his health and lifestyle.

Tariq said: “The programme has enabled me to take control of my health by making small changes to my lifestyle. I’ve learnt so much about how my body works and how the choices I make can affect it. I’ve cut down a lot of fried food and sweets common in the South Asian diet, I now have smaller portions and more vegetables.”

“What’s fantastic is that the programme has continued through the pandemic via video calls, keeping me motivated when it could have been tempting to go back to old ways. We have been advised not to sit for a long time and those small things really do make a difference to staying healthy. I’ve been staying active using an exercise bike as well as taking daily brisk walks. The important point is that I feel so much better – more confident and more full of energy.”

Dr Chirag Bakhai, a GP from Luton and Primary Care Advisor to the Healthier You NHS Diabetes Programme said: “In my role as a GP, I see many people and families who have been severely affected by Type 2 diabetes. Although the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes is higher in people from a South Asian ethnic background, it is important to recognise that the condition can be prevented.

“Making some simple changes can significantly reduce your risk and help you avoid developing Type 2 diabetes. The first step is to find out more about your risk and the changes you can make.”

To find out your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, visit www.diabetes.org.uk/knowyourrisk.