We’re partnering with Tesco to help a million people find out more about their type 2 diabetes risk after our analysis warned that the number of 18-39-year-olds living with the condition could hit 200,000 by 2027.
Know your type 2 diabetes risk
Our research shows that two-thirds of 18-39-year-olds don’t know the symptoms of type 2 diabetes or how to find out their type 2 diabetes risk. By using our free Know Your Risk tool or visiting your local Tesco pharmacy, you can find out whether you’re at risk and get support to lower your chances of getting type 2 diabetes in the future.
The Know Your Risk tool uses your height, weight, waist measurement, and information about your ethnic background and family history to find out your risk of type 2 diabetes. We’ll then give you more information about how to make healthy lifestyle changes to reduce your risk and keep it low.
Type 2 diabetes rates on the rise in under-40s
Rates of type 2 diabetes in the under-40s are now increasing faster than in the over-40s, with cases up by 23% in the last five years. A type 2 diagnosis at a younger age can lead to more complications, including kidney and heart disease. That’s why we’re urging people under 40 to know their risk and get support to reduce it.
Shannon Ball, 26, is from Halifax and knows the impact of a diagnosis at a young age, having been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at the age of 16. She said:
“I know how overwhelming a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes can be for a younger person – I’ve lived through it – and I also know how difficult it can be to know where to go for support or advice if you’re worried about your health. That’s why I want to help as many people as possible understand their risk of type 2 diabetes and find the support to take action.
“I’m proof that with the right advice and support around you, it’s possible to feel more in control of your health. I hope this campaign shows people who are worried about their risk of type 2 diabetes that the help is there and gives them the confidence to go out and get it.”
There are lots of risk factors for type 2 diabetes, which can be complicated. Age, ethnic background, family history and history of other medical conditions can all play a role in increasing your risk of type 2 diabetes, as well as living with obesity or overweight.
Chris Askew OBE is Chief Executive at Diabetes UK. He said:
“This trend of rapidly-increasing early-onset type 2 diabetes is incredibly troubling. It marks a significant shift from what we’ve seen historically, and should be taken as a serious warning to policymakers and our NHS.
“If you’re under 40, you’re not immune to type 2 diabetes. It is vital that you check your risk now and that individuals, no matter what their age or background, are given the opportunity to access support to reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes.”
How Tesco is helping people at risk of type 2 diabetes
Our research found that 57% of people who answered the survey said that they had deprioritised their health since the start of the cost-of-living crisis, with about a quarter saying they’d put off medical checks. Tesco has produced a series of healthy and budget-friendly recipes, which are available through the Tesco Real Food website, and has committed to making healthy food more accessible for its customers.
Jason Tarry is CEO, UK & ROI at Tesco. He said:
“Type 2 diabetes is one of the most common health conditions we face in the UK, but the reality is that many cases could be prevented or delayed. And we know that a healthy diet is one of the ways to reduce your risk.
"In these tough times, we want to make it easier for families to enjoy an exciting, healthy, budget-friendly diet, so that even when pressed for time and money, eating healthily never feels out of reach. With 373 Tesco pharmacies across the country, serving half a million people a week, our community pharmacists can also provide expert support and advice. As part of a long running partnership with Diabetes UK we’re urging people to do the Know Your Risk check either online or at your local Tesco pharmacy.
“Next time you’re in store, visit the pharmacy and have a quick chat to one of our pharmacists or try out one of the healthy and budget friendly recipes we’ve created. Reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes is doable and affordable, with the right support, and a few simple changes can make a big difference.”