As part of the challenge, MPs were issued with the Silver Star Diabetes Pedometer that will measure the amount of steps taken on a chosen day until World Diabetes Day on 14th November 2015 to see who can take the most steps.
Matthew Hancock MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General is the current holder of the Health Challenge.
Every four minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with diabetes and consequently, the NHS spends £1 million an hour on diabetes and its related complications. Currently 3.2 million people in the UK people live with the condition, and an estimated 1 million people may have diabetes without knowing it.
Silver Star Diabetes is a national charity which seeks to raise awareness of diabetes through advocacy and delivering free diabetes testing and lifestyle advice to the general public. The Charity runs Mobile Diabetes Units (MDU's). The MDUs travel out into the community, to places of work, worship, community events, High Street and retail parks testing the public for free for diabetes and offering lifestyle advice. During these visits its staff has discovered thousands of people who have a propensity for diabetes who did not know about it. The event was supported by Astra Zeneca and Abbott Diabetes Care
Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Diabetes Group (APPG) said:
“I am delighted that so many MPs have decided to take the test and have taken the pedometer challenge to raise awareness of this largely unseen health condition.”
Roger Gale added:
“Too many people in North Thanet are suffering from diabetes, so it is good that Silver Star Diabetes are taking action to raise awareness for the condition. Helping people to lead healthy lifestyles is important, and testing people for diabetes plays a vital step towards achieving that."
Professor Jonathan Valabhji, National Clinical Director for Obesity and Diabetes at NHS England said:
“Diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges we face today in the UK. There are 3.2 million people living with diabetes, the majority of whom have Type 2 diabetes, the onset of which can be prevented or delayed by a healthy lifestyle. Exercise is an important component of a healthy lifestyle, and I applaud Silver Star’s efforts to provide practical support and information to so many MPs who have decided to take the test and take the pedometer challenge to raise awareness of this health condition.