Today (April 16) marks the start of Diabetes Prevention Week.

At-risk Richmond residents are being encouraged to lose weight, eat healthily, and lead a more active lifestyle.

Diabetes is a real threat to health and left untreated, it can lead to stroke, blindness, heart disease, kidney failure and lower limb amputation.

An estimated 15,000 people in Richmond are at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, which can be prevented with healthy lifestyle changes.

Richmond’s director of public health, Houda Al-Sharifi, said: “It’s important to know that even if you are at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes it can still be prevented through losing weight, eating healthily, and being more active.”

You can find out your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by completing a quick questionnaire online.

All you need is an accurate measurement of your height, weight and waist size.

Richmond residents can also access the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme which provides free, personalised help to reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes.

It includes education on healthy eating and lifestyle, help to lose weight and bespoke exercise programmes. Ask your GP if you are eligible for the programme.

Anyone aged between 40 to 74 can have a free NHS Health Check which assesses your risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and hypertension.

Your GP or practice nurse can also do a blood test to check your blood sugar levels.