Living with obesity or overweight increases a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes - it accounts for about 80-85% of their risk. For those who have been diagnosed with diabetes, getting support to lose weight can be very beneficial for managing the condition and reducing risk of complications. Significant weight loss can even result in type 2 diabetes going into remission for some people.
Losing weight and maintaining that weight loss is complex, individual and requires a supportive environment. Two thirds of the UK population are currently classified as having obesity or overweight and many experience significant stigma as a result. Many of these people would benefit from being able to access support to help them to lose weight and maintain weight loss. Services to support weight management across the UK are provided in four tiers. Definitions of weight management tiers can vary at a local level, generally they range from signposting and promoting of healthy lifestyles, to more interventionalist approaches (tier 4 covers bariatric surgery). There are also different specialist diabetes prevention programmes available across parts of the UK. However, provision of publicly funded weight management services across the UK is patchy.
This position statement looks at what more could be done to improve access to effective interventions to treat obesity and overweight across the UK. It looks at services for adults who are at risk of type 2 diabetes or diagnosed with diabetes.