A POSTMAN from Oswestry has told how he beat diabetes using a self-help programme.

David Wan, 61, was shocked to hear that he was pre-diabetic, following a routine health check at his GP surgery.

He joined the NHS Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Programme (DPP) – also called 'Healthier You' – gives advice on dieting, exercise and healthy lifestyle.

He said: “I wasn’t particularly overweight and I have a very active job which can involve up to five hours of walking in a day. It was only when I went on the Diabetes Prevention Programme that I realised that it the problem was the result of years of skipping breakfast and then having an energy drink and bar of chocolate during my shift.

“As a postman I sometimes have to get up at stupid-o’clock, and I don’t really feel like eating then. But now I understand why it is important to have breakfast I eat some fruit first thing, and then I make sure that the only snacks I take to work are more fruit.”

David has successfully reversed his pre-diabetes and he is keen to alert other people with Chinese heritage to the fact that they are at higher risk than most ethnic groups.

He said: “One of the things I learned on the course was that Chinese and South Asian people are more likely to develop diabetes than white people, so it is really important for us to watch our diet and ask the doctor for a blood test if we think we may have high blood sugar. I have spoken to my Chinese friends and lots of them didn’t know about this.

“I am still on the Diabetes Prevention Programme and I would say it is very interesting and well presented. I also know now that if I do develop diabetes it will reduce my life expectancy, so that has really motivated me to make changes.”

The programme is set to be doubled in size over the next few years to treat around 200,000 people each year across England as part of the NHS Long Term Plan’s renewed focus on prevention.

From July this year, online versions of the DPP, which involve wearable technologies and apps to help those at risk of type two diabetes, will be provided for patients who find it difficult to attend sessions because of work or family commitments.

Diabetes and its complications cost more than £10billion every year to treat and one in six patients in hospital has diabetes.

Around nine out of 10 people with diabetes have type two, which is closely linked to obesity, and there is strong evidence that many people can prevent it through lifestyle changes.

Recent projections show that the growing number of people with diabetes could result in nearly 39,000 people living with diabetes suffering a heart attack in 2035 and more than 50,000 people suffering a stroke.

Pav Kalsi, senior clinical advisor at Diabetes UK, said: “With 12.3 million people at increased risk of Type 2 diabetes in the UK, the importance of the NHS England’s Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Programme cannot be overstated.

"These figures show the programme is making a real difference to the lives of people at risk of the condition, and is helping them lose weight to minimise their risk.”