DOZENS of people who attended a healthy lifestyle roadshow in Bridgwater were told they were at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
A total of 118 people were risk assessed at the event in May, organised by Diabetes UK and Bupa.
Nearly half (45%) were referred to their doctor for further tests because of their likelihood of developing the condition.
At a similar roadshow in Taunton, 40% of those assessed were referred to their doctor.
Diabetes UK says many of those referred may discover they already have Type 2 diabetes, as it can go unnoticed for several years.
But the charity says an early diagnosis can help people make changes to their lifestyle to reduce the risk of serious health problems.
Phaedra Perry, Diabetes UK South-West regional manager, said: “It’s obviously very concerning that so many people in Taunton and Bridgwater have been identified as moderate or high risk of Type 2 diabetes, particularly as there are already more than 27,000 people diagnosed with the condition in Somerset.
“But our roadshow has given them a chance to get help from their doctor and hopefully to take a serious look at their health.
“Being overweight is one of the main risk factors of Type 2 diabetes but it’s not the only one. Some people will be at risk of the condition because of their age, ethnicity or family history.
“But weight is the one thing you can do something about.
“So whether you have other risk factors or not, it is a smart move to look closely at your lifestyle habits and do all you can to keep at a healthy weight, eat well and be physically active.
“Even small changes can make a big difference.”
People can find out their risk of Type 2 diabetes online here.
If after taking the test they are found to be at moderate or high risk of developing the condition they should visit their GP.
For more information about diabetes, click here.