Call for gender approach to diabetes

The Men's Health Forum's response to the consultation on the NHS National Diabetes Prevention Programme

The Men’s Health Forum has urged the NHS to take account of gender in its National Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP).

Responding to consultation on the NHS DPP, the Forum said it was 'concerned that if the programme does not fully address the question of gender in design, delivery, reporting and monitoring of the NDPP then it will fail to adequately support and engage men who most need the programme'. It called for any demographic performance indicators specified 'to ensure that gender, ethnicity, occupation, age and household income (for the purpose of inequalities) are measured and reported for all outcomes'.

The Forum's consultation response set out seven principles for the NHS DPP:

  • services and especially the health checks to refer men into the programme should be brought to the places where men are: the workplace, sports grounds, pubs, betting shops, prisons etc.
  • while men are likely to be engaged through referral routes and health checks, direct marketing is worth exploring, because we know that men are less likely to engage with GP’s or show up for health programmes.
  • men prefer programmes that focus on improving health or fitness to those that focus simply losing weight or dieting.
  • men prefer an NHS-setting to commercial weight-loss programmes. Or even better a setting around their workplace or in their own social sphere (football club they support or with friends). 
  • men need to be informed about the gains from the program to encourage them to continue with it.
  • men like an atmosphere of peer-support and camaraderie but facetime with health professionals and their advice is also key to achieve change.
  • share responsibility with men to create a program. Men view weight and health as a personal issue.

Much of the Forum's response was based on its How To guide: How to make weight-loss services work for men. The Forum also referred the programme to its manifesto.

The full response is attached as a PDF.

Response to the consultation on the NHS DPP (PDF, 173kb)