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Leicester is first UK city to join global type 2 diabetes prevention programme

By signing up to the Cities Changing Diabetes campaign, Leicester is committing to a dedicated action plan aimed at reducing type 2 diabetes in the city.

Leicester has become the first UK city to sign up to the Cities Changing Diabetes campaign, a global initiative that aims to reduce levels of type 2 diabetes among urban populations.

It is only the third city in Europe to sign up, after Rome and Copenhagen.

Cities Changing Diabetes is formed of partnerships between cities, local healthcare stakeholders and the pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, who initiated the programme in 2014. It aims to encourage healthy lifestyle choices amongst urban residents to reduce rates of type 2 diabetes, including campaigning to get diabetes prevention on the agenda of local urban planning. Globally, the campaign aims to reduce obesity by 25% by 2045. Ten cities around the world have now joined the programme.

By joining the campaign, Leicester is committing to a dedicated action plan aimed at reducing type 2 diabetes in the city. Almost 9% of Leicester’s population — around 26,500 people — live with diabetes, compared with an average of 6.4% across the UK. Thousands more are considered to be at high risk of developing the condition.

The Leicester Changing Diabetes partnership includes the Leicester Diabetes Centre (LDC), a collaboration between the NHS, the National Institute for Health Research and the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust. Melanie Davies, professor of diabetes medicine at the University of Leicester and director of the LDC, said the new partnership was a “once-in-a-generation opportunity”, allowing the city to “work together and tackle important issues, such as obesity and physical inactivity, particularly in our young people”.

“If our football club can win the Premier League, then we can work towards a city with reduced levels of type 2 diabetes, as well as ensuring those with the condition have the right level of support and education to manage it properly,” said Davies.

Leicester Changing Diabetes was launched at Leicester’s City Hall on 1 May 2018.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2018.20204803

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