Men’s Health Week – Are you at risk of Type 2 Diabetes?

3 Top Tips for Men


 Lifestyle changes Reduces risk of Type 2 Diabetes

  1. Some men report changing Alcohol habits  is more challenging than changing Food habits.

alcoholAlcohol  features in all aspects of Irish life, making it difficult to avoid. Changing habits requires willpower. Moderation of alcohol intake is advised for all people. If you receive a diagnosis of Diabetes Type 2, consider;


  • excess body weight increases your risk of Diabetes Type 2 and alcohol is very high in calories. Ask yourself if alcohol is contributing to your excess weight? If yes, ask yourself if you want to avoid Type 2 Diabetes.


  •  Alternate an alcoholic drink with a low calorie mixer
  • Take water between drinks and slow down your drinking
  • Rest your liver by avoiding alcohol for  4 consecutive days/nights a week
  • Avoid alcohol binges (6 drinks which is the equivalent of three or more pints of beer or six or more pub measures of spirits)
  • Avoid low-alcohol beers as these are high in sugar; and low sugar beers, which tend to be high in alcohol
  • Arrange some alternative nights – choose venues without an alcohol bar such as some pool/snooker rooms, bowling, cards or quizes
  • Engage in early morning team sporting activities such as group mountain hikes/runs/cycles which you will enjoy more with a clear head and will not want to miss because of too many drinks the night before

For the person whose diabetes is treated with insulin or sulphonylureas please remember that extra care is required to prevent hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar). read more here

2. Men report limited selection of healthy options at Service Stations, when travelling on the road for work

deli counter at moloney

Plan ahead and take healthy food with you if you are on the road, travelling for work. There is a wide variety of lunch boxes with various compartments for different foods, making lunchbox foods more appealing than you may remember from your school days. There are new hot flasks and you can take some dinner leftover from the night before. Check out our recipe section on our website for healthy food ideas.lunchbox with compartments

3. Men report ‘no time’ and ‘lack of motivation’ to exercise as another challenge

  • Decide to do some exercise/movement each day. Take your runners and exercise kit in the car to work. If driving, you are recommended to stop every 2 hours so take 15 minutes for a brisk walk.
  • At lunchtime, take fresh air away from the office and walk around the block. Standing up and moving around the office every 20 minutes or so, rather than sitting all day helps to slightly raise the metabolism. All movement helps:- choose the stairs rather than lift; park further away from office; get off the luas or bus a stop earlier; if driving from work, stop at a local park on the route home and take a brisk walk. These small steps all add up over the day.
  • Wear a Fitbit and set yourself a step challenge of 10,000 steps a day.
  • Doing exercise with other people is more motivational: join a men’s cycling club; attend your 5k local park run on Saturday mornings with your children or friends; join the bike-to-work scheme ; attend a men’s weight-loss group – Slimming World, Weightwatchers or Unislim and benefit from the motivational spirit of your peers.

The greatest challenge is making your mind up to exercise. JUST DO IT. In general, we find that once a man makes his mind up to do something, his adherence is even better than a woman’s adherence to a new regime.

Christmas exercise

Why are we asking you to consider a change in your Lifestyle?

The VHI screen of almost 30,000 Irish adults of which 13,000 were men produced significant results  1.


  • Men are 2-3 times more likely than women to have abnormal blood glucose levels and undiagnosed diabetes1
    Weight loss
  • The heavier the man, the greater the risk of Type 2 Diabetes – AND Irish men have the highest body mass index in Europe
  • Rates of impaired glucose tolerance were higher in males than females in all age groups with males aged 65-75yrs having the highest rates of type 2 diabetes1


Are you at risk? If you would like to find out if you are at risk of Type 2 Diabetes, take our ‘Are you At Risk’ Test on the front page of our website. If you rate moderate or high, visit your GP for a blood test.
Diabetes Ireland meet a large number of men at our free educational courses called CODE for people with Type 2 Diabetes or with prediabetes. We hear about the challenges men face and following is a summary of the most common topics that men bring up. If you are considering a lifestyle change, you may be able to identify with some of these;



  1. Fasting Plasma Glucose as Initial Screening for Diabetes and Prediabetes in Irish Adults: The Diabetes Mellitus and Vascular Health Initiative (DMVhi). 2015 PLOS One.


  1. Trends in adult body-mass index in 200 countries from 1975 to 2014: a pooled analysis of 1698 population-based measurement studies with 19·2 million participants The Lancet. 387,10026, 1377-1396