Councillors and health bosses are encouraging people to make small lifestyle changes in a bid to stave off Type 2 diabetes.

The campaign comes after statistics showed that Harrow is the London borough with the highest rate of diabetes cases.

More than 20,000 people in the borough live with the condition – this represents 9.6 per cent of the population, which is well above the London average of 6.5 per cent.

Those with Asian and Caribbean origins have a greater chance of developing Type 2 diabetes, although it is common in all communities.

Cllr Simon Brown, responsible for adults and public health at Harrow Council, said residents did not need to be “pigeonholed” by the statistics and that health authorities in the region would vow to change them.

He said: “Diabetes is a huge problem in Harrow, but we want to spread the word that a good diet, regular exercise and healthy lifestyle helps minimise risk.

“There are plenty of active opportunities available here every day – from running in our lovely parks to taking up a new sport at the revamped leisure centre.

“Or make a lifestyle change and build something little into your everyday routine.”

The council pointed out that small changes – such as walking on part of a commute or taking the stairs where possible – can make a significant difference.

According to the NHS, moving for just ten minutes a day can reduce your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes by 40 per cent.

Dr Genevieve Small, chairman of Harrow Clinical Commissioning Group, explained that there has been a clear effort to change the situation in the borough.

She noted that, of the eight north-west London boroughs, it has the third-highest number of participants in the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme.

“We are beginning to have the ability to reverse the increasing trend of diabetes that the country has been face with for several decades – Harrow is now on that journey,” she added.