Obesity and Diabetes Management

John’s specific qualification in this area is a Level 4 certificate in Obesity and Diabetes Management. Therefore, he can design, agree and adapt safe physical activity programmes for adults with obesity and/or diabetes.

This is based on a thorough understanding of various aspects of obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome:

  • pathology
  • epidemiology
  • complications
  • associated conditions
  • care pathways
  • drug treatment strategies
  • surgical interventions


Complications of Obesity

Clients who are overweight, or even obese, are highly likely to be suffering from other co-conditions. Even if they are not, they are likely to at some point in the future. These include cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, certain cancers, and female reproductive complications. Elevated visceral obesity, where excess body fat surround the abdominal organs, has a particularly strong link to these conditions.

The health risks associated with obesity can have a huge impact on a person’s quality of life, and there is the risk of developing the chronic conditions listed above. They may also have a reduced ability to participate in normal physical activities. In addition to this are the psychological impacts such as body image anxieties and social prejudices. These can all combine to diminish the quality of life for people with obesity.

Management of Complications

Many clients who suffer from diabetes and/or obesity have secondary conditions, and other medical complications. John will consider these conditions when devising an exercise programme. Further, we need to ensure that we address any additional risk factors that secondary conditions bring to the table.

John also holds a Level 3 Exercise Referral qualification. This is a pre-requisite for registration at Level 4 on the Register of Exercise Professionals, because these conditions can be so wide-ranging. This gives the instructor the skills to work with clients who have a wide range of medical illnesses in a safe and effective manner.

Dietary Advice

As an exercise specialist working with clinical populations, John can offer you limited advice with regard to diet and nutrition.

John will, however, ensure that you understand the very important link between:

  • increasing energy output through exercise, and
  • decreasing and controlling energy input.

If you have a referral to John from your GP or specialist clinic, it is highly likely that you are, or will be, working with a registered dietician.

if you choose to self-refer, John may decide to refer you to a registered dietician for more detailed nutritional advice. This is dependent upon your assessment responses, and will be discussed fully with you.

Positive Effects of Exercise

The obese and/or diabetic client will experience a large number of positive benefits from exercise.

Weight loss is perhaps the most obvious, and usually forms the basis of most clients’ goals. Starting on a programme of physical activity will increase calorific output. Consequently, this will have a massive effect on the energy balance within the body, supporting weight loss and maintenance. Coupling an exercise programme with a well-controlled diet will make it properly effective

The heart, like all muscle tissue, will adapt to the stress of exercise, and become more efficient. As a result, resting heart rate, blood pressure, and lipid profile (cholesterol) are all reduced. Therefore the risks of heart disease, particularly from atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries) are also reduced.

For diabetics, an increased activity level may improve insulin sensitivity and support better control of blood sugar levels. Again, this is most effective when coupled with an appropriate nutritional intervention, and can be seen in as little as 10 days.

Losing excess body fat normally has a knock-on effect on your outlook on life.  Psychological issues including depression are closely linked to obesity. As you start to lose weight, for example, you can gain more confidence, motivation, and may become more outgoing.