Middle-aged men in England are to be encouraged to take a short online quiz to test their vulnerability to type 2 diabetes, as part of an NHS campaign partly intended to prevent more Covid deaths.
The “know your risk” quiz, developed by Diabetes UK, asks seven questions about weight, height and waist size to establish a body mass index or BMI. Users are also asked whether any of their relatives have had diabetes. Results are given four bands from low to high risk.
Those with moderate or high scores will be invited to refer themselves to local health services for support in changing their lifestyle and losing weight.
The NHS says it has fast-tracked the campaign after research found that people are twice as likely to die of Covid-19 if they have type 2 diabetes.
It comes after a campaign in August last year which targeted Black and South Asian communities who are more at risk of type 2 diabetes from the age of 25.
Facebook adverts launched on Monday will target the quiz at millions of white men over 40 and highlight the increased risk of developing diabetes among this group.
Quiz participants will also be encouraged to sign up for support from the NHS’s Healthier You diabetes prevention programme.
Prof Jonathan Valabhji, NHS England’s national clinical director for diabetes and obesity, said: “The evidence is clear. Obesity and type 2 diabetes significantly increase the risk that many of us face from Covid.
“And we already knew that for men over 40 in particular, the risk of type 2 diabetes steadily increases with age so it is crucial people in this group check their risk and get the right support.
“As we start to see signs of normal life returning, there has never been a better time to start living a healthier lifestyle and we want to support even more people to do this.”
John Harrison, 53, from Burton Joyce in Nottinghamshire, lost 55kg (8st 6lbs) through the Healthier You programme. Changes to his diet included reducing fat intake, cutting down on red meat-based meals and increasing the amount of chicken and pulses. He now also does a power walk five times a week.
“I was determined that lockdown wouldn’t stop me from getting healthier,” he said. “I got great support through video sessions and was able to drop from 127kg in 2019 to 72kg in just 14 months.”
“My quality of life has really improved and these days I can do so much more without feeling exhausted. I can buy and wear fashionable clothes including skinny jeans.”
This content first appear on the guardian