A Richmondshire man blighted by health issues through diabetes has lost 30 pounds in weight and reduced his medication thanks to a lifestyle programme overseen by the District Council.

Alastair Fraser, aged 57, has gone from clinically obese to overweight in just 12 weeks on the Step by Step programme – dropping two shirt sizes and losing 18 centimetres from his waist.

The programme - now in its second year in Richmondshire - helps local people achieve great health results by showing them how to make small, long term changes to their diet and lifestyle. Improving diet and lifestyle - and maintaining a healthy weight - are proven to help prevent many health problems in later life.

The countywide scheme has seen close to 600 referrals from Richmondshire. They have supported people experiencing conditions as diverse as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and musculoskeletal conditions, as well as those wanting to lose weight and shape up

Alistair, a member of the Richmond evening class, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes a few years ago and after initially controlling it with a combination of sensible eating, exercise and medication things had started to go off the rails for him.   His weight had started to creep up, exercise at the gym only consisted of a sauna and the strength of his medication was increasing.

“It was obvious I was unable to sort the problem unaided, so after discussing this with the diabetic nurse at my surgery, I was referred to the Step by Step programme, beginning in September this year,” he said.  

“The programme was a real eye opener and I learned a lot about food types, exercise, and planning effectively. This was a great help in developing a strategy to rectify recent years of neglecting my health.

“What surprised me was how quickly things started to go in the right direction and my weight and body-fat soon started to decrease. To begin with it was more down to reducing my intake of alcohol, chocolate and cutting down the portion sizes. Once that started to work I also started eating more healthily, replacing cakes, crisps, and breakfasts with a lot of sugar, with nuts, beans, and porridge.

“I recently completed the 12 week programme and I'm pleased to report I lost over 2 stone in weight, 5 inches off my waist, and my body fat dropped by 4%. The good news is my medication has reduced and I feel tons better. As someone in their late 50s, I am proof that it's never too late. Boy am I looking forward to my appointment with the diabetic nurse and seeing her reaction!”

The programme is available to residents of Richmondshire aged 18 and over who meet some essential criteria. For this year lifestyles officers are particularly interested in hearing from residents in the Catterick, Colburn and more rural areas such as Reeth, Hawes and Aysgarth. Participants must be referred to the Step by Step programme by their GP, Nurse or other health professional.

For more information please visit your local GP; take a look at:; or contact Lifestyle Officers Ryan Rutherford and Ian Salvin on 01748 901044 / 901036 / 901045 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Richmondshire District Council
Mercury House
Station Road
North Yorkshire
DL10 4JX

Phone: 01748 829100
Fax: 01748 826186
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