PEOPLE completing the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme have lost the equivalent weight of 43 ambulances.

Four million people in the UK live with type two diabetes, with diabetes and its complications cost the NHS more than £10billion every year.

89,604 people have now finished the programme, losing a combined weight of 185,051kilograms.

It is the first of its kind to have achieved a full national roll-out.

With expert advice on dieting, exercise and healthy lifestyle, the programme will double in size to treat around 200,000 people every year.

Complications can include blindness and foot amputations. A lack of exercise, poor diet and being overweight are all risk factors for developing diabetes.

Professor Jonathan Valabhji, NHS national clinical director for obesity and diabetes, said: “Around two-thirds of adults and one-third of children are now overweight or obese, driving higher and higher rates of type 2 diabetes that we are now focusing huge efforts to prevent as part of our NHS Long Term Plan.

“Helping people avoid diabetes is potentially life-saving, so these results are encouraging, but the NHS cannot win the fight against obesity alone."