NHS uses Facebook to reach men at risk of diabetes

The NHS is using Facebook to reach men aged over 40 who may be at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Using sponsored Facebook adverts that will take users through to a quiz by Diabetes UK, it is hoped more awareness will be raised about how to get support.

Those who take the quiz and receive a moderate or high score will also be able to self-refer themselves for online or remote support from a local service, with no need for a referral from a clinician.

The NHS says that men over 40 are particularly at risk of Type 2 diabetes – and that the risk increases with age.

It’s hoped that targeting this group through social media, and encouraging them to sign up to the Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, could lead to lifestyle changes and even avoidance of the condition.

The programme supports those who are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes to lose weight – and around 200,000 places are available as part of the NHS Long Term Plan.

The NHS says it is fast-tracking the programme after research found that people with Type 2 diabetes were at increased risk from COVID-19 – and considered twice as likely to die from the disease.

Professor Jonathan Valabhji, national clinical director for diabetes and obesity for the NHS in England, commented: “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. If you think you are at risk, check your risk online – it is free and it could be life changing.”