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Festive flab puts thousands (including Santa) at risk of Type 2 diabetes

Santa and thousands of others should take it easy on the mince pies and mulled wine this Christmas, as excessive food and drink consumption during the festive period could lead to weight gain and increase their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, warns Diabetes UK today.

Eating too many high-calorie treats such as Christmas cake (around 250 calories per slice), mince pies (about 200 calories each) and mulled wine (approximately 250 calories in a glass) can leave us all struggling to buckle our belts in the New Year – as well as more at risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Adopt a healthy lifestyle

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This Christmas, TV presenter Phillip Schofield is urging people to adopt a healthy lifestyle to help reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

He said: "My mother and brother both have diabetes so I know first-hand how it can impact a person and their family’s life. As diabetes runs in my own family I ensure that we try to lead a healthy lifestyle to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. At Christmas, this means we will still have the usual treats like mince pies and Christmas cake but in moderation. We will also try and offset it with a bit more exercise whether it’s a walk in the park or decorating the Christmas tree!"

To reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, we recommend a healthy balanced diet that is low in fat, salt and sugar, maintaining a healthy weight and being physically active. Even a moderate degree of physical activity can reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by up to 60 per cent.

Enjoy yourself – but protect future health

Barbara Young, Diabetes UK Chief Executive, said: "Christmas is a time of good festive cheer and we certainly don’t want people to deprive themselves and hamper the fun, but it is important for people to enjoy the festive treats as part of a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables. You could have one mince pie instead of three, or have an extra portion of vegetables rather than an extra helping of Christmas pudding.

People can enjoy themselves at Christmas but still protect their future health. It is well worth saying 'no' when the box of chocolates comes round to you for the fifth time!”

People are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes if they have a large waist, if they are overweight, over the age of 40, of Black or South Asian origin, or have a family history of Type 2 diabetes.  If a person has two or more of these risk factors Diabetes UK recommends they visit their GP for a simple diabetes test.

Take our simple, online test to find out your Diabetes Risk Score.

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