Only a third of people realise that a large waistline can lead to type 2 diabetes, a survey shows.
Diabetes UK say that perhaps their research is particularly poignant in the run up towards the festive season, when people tend to eat and drink more than at any time of the year.
Douglas Smallwood, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: "Watching our waistlines at this time of year is vital as we all need to do our best to reduce our chances of developing this mostly preventable condition.
"It is important to remember that around 80% of people with people with type 2 diabetes are overweight at diagnosis."
Diabetes UK say that eating too many mince pies, slices of Christmas cake and mulled wine at Christmas can have a dramatic effect on the waistline come the new year.
They say that festive indulgence can have serious health implications for those who go on to develop type 2 diabetes, such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney damage and amputation.
Douglas Smallwood added: "There are up to 750,000 people in the UK who have type 2 diabetes but don't know it.
"The sooner type 2 diabetes is recognised and becomes well managed, the better your long-term health is protected and the lower your risk of developing complications."