Can you reduce your risk of diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented. But up to 58 per cent of cases of Type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented by making simple changes in our everyday lives.

In Type 1 diabetes, the body's immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells, but currently the cause remains uncertain. Type 2 diabetes is a little more complex. It's the combination of our genes and our lifestyle that influences the development of Type 2 diabetes and puts us at risk.

Find out if you are at risk of Type 2 diabetes.

How can I reduce my risk?

Some of the risk factors for Type 2 diabetes – such as age, ethnic background, or family history – can’t be changed, but others can. 


The good news is that we can all make small changes to help us reduce our risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

And Diabetes UK is here to help you make small change that will make a big difference. We have lots of information and tools to help you reduce your risk:

Eat better

Move more 



Our delicious recipes will excite your taste buds and inspire you to keep eating healthy. 

Food and activity diary

The first step to a healthy change is understanding what you currently do. Using a diary to record what you eat and the activity you do during the week is a great start. Once you've filled in the diary you can see where you can make small changes to your diet and activity level to help you stay healthy

Meal planner and store cupboard checklist

Planning your meals for the week is a great way to help you save time and money while enjoying delicious home cooked meals.

Write a plan for the week ahead and stick it to your fridge to help you keep on track.

And remember, a well-stocked cupboard will save you time, money and effort when cooking at home. You don’t have to stock your cupboard all at once. Buy a new spice or herb every week and you’ll soon have all the ingredients you need to create tasty, nutritious dishes at home. 


NHS Health Check

If you are aged between 40 and 74, and live in England, you may be invited to attend an NHS Health Check every five years. This may be with your GP, a practice nurse or in the the community at a pharmacy or leisure centre.

During the check they will assess your risk of Type 2 diabetes and other diseases related to your heart, and you can discuss what services and activities are available to support you to lose weight and reduce your risk of these conditions. Find out more about the NHS Health Check on the NHS Choices website.