Bradford Beating Diabetes website - plain text version for easy read


1 in 16 people in the UK have diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the biggest health threat in the country and a major health issue in Bradford. Bradford Beating Diabetes (BBD) is here to make people in Bradford aware, active, healthy, and in control of Type 2 diabetes. BBD is working to reduce the number of people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and help those who are diagnosed better manage their condition.


About Bradford Beating Diabetes

The campaign

Many people do not know that they have type 2 diabetes, but it can have a serious impact on people’s lives. The prevalence rate of type 2 diabetes in England is 6.4%, here in Bradford the prevalence rate is above the national average at 8.7% (average across both Bradford Districts and Bradford City Clinical Commissioning Groups).

Bradford Beating Diabetes aims to:

Bradford Beating Diabetes supports you to:

Bradford Beating Diabetes started in Bradford City Clinical Commissioning Group and is now also running in Bradford Districts Clinical Commissioning Group


How it works

There are two phases to the Bradford Beating Diabetes programme.

Phase one – identifies people at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes

Phase two – identifies people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes

Since the campaign started in 2013, more than 12,000 people in the Bradford City area who are at risk of developing diabetes have taken part in the programme, 6,000 of whom have received lifestyle advice from their GP or healthcare team. 


Success stories

“The campaign has certainly made me more aware of the things I can do to improve my health, I have stopped taking sugar in my tea and now I eat a lot more fruit and vegetables, as well as trying to exercise more. As a diabetes champion I am really looking forward to helping others make improvements to their lifestyle. Making changes is always so much easier when you have the support of others.”

“I used to put four sugars in my tea, I now have none. I also walk my grandson to school every day. It’s a hill so it’s a good 15 minute walk. That has made a huge difference to me. I go to the mosque 5 times a day which is a 50 minute walk in total… I feel a lot better in myself. I’ve lost a stone in weight. As a family we like our food, but this has motivated them, seeing me do it. My son has lost 2 stone, my wife 1 stone. It’s a good thing I found out. I might never have lost the weight if I hadn’t been diagnosed.”


Diabetes prevention programme

If you have been identified as being at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes you will be referred to the Bradford diabetes prevention programme. The programme runs groups which are aimed at delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Run by the Bradford Beating Diabetes champions, the groups are informal and friendly, between 10 to 15 people. The sessions focus on how to make lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

The sessions are held at GP practices and community venues throughout Bradford at different times so you can choose which one is more convenient for you. There are also women’s only groups available.

The first session will focus on the knowledge and skills that you as a participant want to gain from attending the diabetes prevention programme, and how you want to do it. Following sessions focus on exercise, healthy eating and healthy lifestyle (including reducing alcohol intake and stopping smoking). You’ll also focus on goal setting for the long term and what to do if you slip up. The health trainers will also signpost you to local services that can help. Further diabetes prevention programme sessions review your progress and help you keep on top of your goals.

Note: the diabetes prevention programme was formerly known as the intensive lifestyle change programme.


Bradford Beating Diabetes (BBD) champions

The Bradford Beating Diabetes (BBD) champions are people from the local community who are battling to beat diabetes. The champions are a mixture of volunteers, practice staff, health trainers and people who have been health champions before. They work with people in Bradford who have been identified as being at risk of developing diabetes and support them in making lifestyle changes. The champions run the diabetes prevention programme groups.

BBD champions come from a wide range of backgrounds and between them speak multiple languages, including the main South Asian languages.


What you’ve said

“Sharing the experiences, knowing about each other’s, what they’re doing and what background they have, in terms of how they want to deal with their disease and reasons they’ve come - so it was nice to be in a group.”

 “I just thought I got to go and see what it’s about. I was surprised seeing the results because I didn’t think I would have diabetes. You just think it’s from eating loads and loads of sugar and I think well I don’t have a sweet tooth, its savouries with me. So I thought… well they’ll obviously get that wrong won’t they. It’s what you don’t know about diabetes; you just think it’s from eating cakes and biscuits and you think well I don’t have that much, mine’s savouries, but no I was wrong.”

“Everyone knows that eating certain foods and doing certain things is bad for you, it’s when you actually get to the level of accepting that and changing that for your own life and having it over the year it was basically giving me that time. So every time we went in we set goals… and I actually wanted to make changes and that’s what we did, every single time. So by time we got to the end of it I had quite an active lifestyle.”


Case studies


Dr Akram Khan

Being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2007 came as a complete shock to Dr Akram Khan, clinical chair of Bradford City Clinical Commissioning Group and a Barkerend GP.

Despite knowing all the signs and symptoms of diabetes, he put his feelings of tiredness and generally being unwell down to working too hard, skipping meals and an unhealthy lifestyle.

His symptoms came on suddenly and it was a nurse at his practice who suggested he might have diabetes. She did a test, which confirmed the condition, and then made sure he went to his GP.

The diagnosis was a big wake-up call for Akram to look after his health and he soon started losing weight, walking up the stairs instead of taking the lift and cutting his portion sizes – all things that have helped him control his diabetes and stay fit and well.

“Diabetes really did come out of the blue for me.” said Akram. “I’d never been seriously ill, so even though I had some of the classic symptoms of diabetes they were too vague for me to think anything was wrong.

“Looking back, I only had symptoms for a couple of months so I hadn’t had previous tests for diabetes and didn’t know I was at such risk. This is why our campaign is relevant for so many people in Bradford City who do know they are at risk and have the chance to do something about it – hopefully to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.

“I would urge everyone who receives a letter from their GP to book a blood test so they can find out if anything’s wrong and start taking steps to change their lifestyle and look after their health. I feel well now, my diabetes is under control and I have a far healthier lifestyle – it’s not been easy to change, but my family has really supported me and as a result we’re all eating less pizza and moving around a lot more!”


Lubna Khalid

A Bradford Beating Diabetes (BBD) champion, Lubna Khalid, has herself been identified at being at risk of developing diabetes because of medication she takes, following a kidney transplant three years ago.

“The campaign has certainly made me more aware of the things I can do to improve my health,” said Lubna, who is 38 and works at the Women Zone women’s centre, Leeds Road.

“I have stopped taking sugar in my tea and now I eat a lot more fruit and vegetables, as well as trying to exercise more. As a diabetes champion I am really looking forward to helping others make improvements to their lifestyle. Making changes is always so much easier when you have the support of others.”

Bradford GP Dr Kulpana Patel has been appointed as a BBD Clinical Champion. “I got involved because I wanted to improve my own knowledge of diabetes and because I was inspired by the Bradford Beating Diabetes campaign. Diabetes is a major problem and if we can work together to delay its onset in patients, then that has to be a good thing,” said Dr Patel, who works across two Bradford GP practices.

She added: “Diabetes is also something very close to my heart, as my grandfather suffered from Type 2 diabetes and sadly died, age 70 as a result of complications. He had lost the sight in one eye and had advanced kidney disease. My uncle also has Type 2 diabetes and is on insulin.

“I think it’s vital that we raise awareness of diabetes and try to help as many people who are at risk, as possible.”


Mumtaz Mansha

Bradford mum-of-three Mumtaz Mansha, who was found to be at risk of diabetes, told NHS Bradford City Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) governing body how being diagnosed was a wake-up call which encouraged her to make small changes to her lifestyle that can have a huge impact on her health and wellbeing.

Mumtaz’s wider family – including her dad, aunties and uncles – has a history of diabetes so she was invited by her GP practice to attend for diabetes screening. When she was found to have a raised blood glucose level she was offered a place on the diabetes prevention programme

“I was shocked and scared when the doctor first told me I was in the pre-diabetes stage and, on his advice, made some fairly immediate changes to my lifestyle – including starting a strict diet and going to the local ladies-only gym,” said Mumtaz.

"It was hard to resist the temptation of my favourite food though – especially sweets and takeaways – so joining the prevention classes helped me to find the long-term motivation that I needed.”

Mumtaz joined a prevention programme group near her home, led by BBD champion Nazneen Baksh. With encouragement from the group, she has changed her eating habits and her children are following her lead by changing theirs too.

“Having the right mind-set is important;” said Mumtaz “and the prevention programme helped me to gain that. I have understood more about diabetes, its potential complications and how it can be prevented. I’m more aware of what to avoid, and what to do differently to stave off what would otherwise have been inevitable.”


Diabetes: the facts


Diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges facing people in Bradford.  Find out the facts about the condition...

Type 1 diabetes

One in 10 people with diabetes have Type 1. This is caused by the body not producing insulin and not caused by being overweight. It usually affects children or young adults, starting suddenly and getting worse quickly. Insulin injections are needed to manage Type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented; however a healthy lifestyle will help people diagnosed with type 1 diabetes to stay well.

Type 2 diabetes

Nine in 10 people who have diabetes have Type 2. Type 2 is usually caused by lifestyle factors and in most people is preventable. It is caused when the body does not produce enough insulin and develops a resistance to the effects of insulin. Type 2 diabetes is usually diagnosed later on in life and it could be years before you realise you have the condition. However, the condition is known to affect people from black and minority ethic (BME) backgrounds at a younger age.

Did you know?


How do you know if you're at risk?


You are more at risk of Type 2 diabetes if you:

You may have diabetes if you:

If you do have any of these signs, please contact your GP practice to arrange a diabetes test. It is important not to ignore the signs – the earlier you take action, the sooner you can get the right care to reduce your risk of serious ill health.


Making changes to reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes


There are three main changes that you can make to your lifestyle to reduce your risk of being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes or that can help you manage your condition if you have already been diagnosed.

1. Regular exercise

We all know we should be sitting less and moving more. Adults should do 30 minutes of moderate exercise (e.g. a brisk walk) five times a week – it helps prevent Type 2 diabetes and be healthier.

Sometimes you might find it hard to find the time or think that you need an expensive gym membership to get regular exercise. But there are lots of ways that you can easily move more:

There are more tips on getting fit your way on the Diabetes UK website, NHS Choices or download the One You activity tracker app for your phone. Bradford Council also has a list of local activities in the area on their website and app.

2. Eat healthier

It can be tempting to eat out or order a takeaway if you are busy, but one of the best changes that you can make towards eating healthier is to cook at home – you’ll be saving money and learning new skills.

There are some easy swaps that you can make when cooking at home and lots of places where you can go to find delicious, easy and healthy meal ideas. Some ideas are:

There are lots of resources out there to get you on track to eating healthier. Try the Diabetes UK website for lots of diabetes friendly meals. The One You meal planner app also has healthy, low cost ideas. Searching on websites and apps like YouTube or Pinterest can also help you find simple, healthy and easy to cook recipes.

3. Lose weight

Getting regular exercise and eating healthier as part of a lifestyle change is one of the best ways to lose weight and keep it off for the long term. A realistic target is to try and lose 5 – 10 % of your body weight in one year.  

If you have a body mass index of more than 25, or 23 if you are south east Asian or Chinese, it is recommended that you should lose weight.

If you are trying to lose weight, you could try:

You can download the My Fitness Pal app here. You can also try the NHS Choices directory of recommended tools and apps.


The impact of diabetes

Being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes can have a bigger impact than you think. Having Type 2 diabetes can result in:

Cardiovascular disease (CVD)

CVD is one of the leading causes of premature death in Bradford – it includes heart disease, stroke and other diseases of the heart and circulation. If you have diabetes you are more at risk of CVD. If you improve your diet, manage your weight and keep active you can reduce the chance of developing CVD.

CVD is Bradford’s biggest killer, find out more about what we are doing in Bradford to prevent CVD.

Kidney disease

Kidney disease is much more common in people with diabetes and high blood pressure. Keeping your blood glucose level as close to normal as possible and your blood pressure under control can greatly reduce the risk of kidney disease.

Find out more about how Type 2 diabetes can increase your risk of kidney disease here.

Eye disease

Diabetes is the leading cause of preventable sight loss in people of working age in the UK. If you have high blood glucose levels, high blood pressure and high blood fat levels, it is important to keep these under control so that you reduce your risk of eye disease or even blindness.

Find out more about how Type 2 diabetes can damage your sight here

Nerve damage

High blood glucose levels can damage the tiny blood vessels in your nerves. This can cause a tingling or burning pain that spreads from your fingers and toes up through your limbs. It can also cause numbness, which can lead to ulceration of the feet.

Find out more about how the nervous system can be impacted by Type 2 diabetes here


If diabetes is poorly controlled, nerve damage can become so severe and can lead to amputations (most commonly in the feet and legs). Over 100 amputations a week are performed amongst people with diabetes and diabetes is the leading cause of amputation in the country. Nerve damage can also lead to neuropathies which can reduce sensation in the lower limbs. The best way to prevent this is by controlling your blood glucose levels.

Find out more about Type 2 diabetes and amputation here.

Foot ulcers

Nerve damage to the feet can also mean that small nicks and cuts go unnoticed, combined with poor circulation, this can lead to foot ulcers. About 1 in 10 people with diabetes get a foot ulcer, which can cause a serious infection.

Find out more about the impact of Type 2 diabetes and foot ulcers here

Sexual dysfunction (men only)

For men diagnosed with diabetes, impotence or erectile dysfunction is more common.

Find out more about the impact of Type 2 diabetes on sexual function here.

Complications in pregnancy (women only)

There are additional risks in pregnancy if you have diabetes. These risks or your chances of having difficulties can be reduced by tightly controlling blood glucose levels before and during pregnancy. Babies of women with diabetes are five times more likely to be stillborn, more likely to die within the first three months of life and more likely to be born with an abnormality.

Find out more about diabetes and the complications it could cause during pregnancy here.

Reduced life expectancy

A diabetes diagnosis means that you are more likely to have a lower life expectancy in comparison with your peers.

To find out more about the link between diabetes and a lower life expectancy, click here.


There are also many conditions linked to Type 2 diabetes, these include; coeliac disease, thyroid disease, polycystic ovary syndrome, diabetes insipidus, muscular conditions, and dental health complications.

You can find out more about how these conditions are linked to diabetes here.


Other online resources

NHS Choices guide to diabetes in BSL -


Diabetes UK

Diabetes UK is the country’s largest diabetes charity. Their website is a great place to get tips on managing and living with diabetes, it is especially good for getting ideas for diabetes friendly meals.

One You

The One You website is all about how to look after you. Take the quiz, which looks at lifestyle factors such as eating, drinking and exercise, to find out how you can make changes to improve your health. You can also download the One You apps that can help you keep on track with maintaining a healthy lifestyle. 


Change4Life is a website aimed at helping you and your family become healthier and happier. The website has lots of ideas, recipes and games that can help you and your family make long term changes. Change4Life also has information about the Sugar Smart app which shows you the hidden sugar lurking in your food.

NHS Choices

The NHS Choices website has lots of advice about how to live well. It includes a health A-Z (including type 2 diabetes), live well advice, information about care and support, health news and a NHS service finder. is a global community of people who are living with type 2 diabetes, family members, friends, supporters and carers who offer their own support and first-hand knowledge to help others. The website also has a diabetes forum where you can post questions and get feedback from others.