Type 2 diabetes risk assessments should be given to all adults aged over 40, and those aged 25 and above of South Asian, Chinese, African-Caribbean or Black African descent, NICE has said.
It is also encouraging GP practices to use information contained on patient records to identify those at risk, and telling adults to complete validated self-assessment questionnaires, which can be completed online, and contact a practice if they are concerned.
The guidance suggested that public health commissioners and clinical commissioning groups work together to ensure diabetes prevention is at the heart of their activities.
Professor Mike Kelly, director of the Centre for Public Health Excellence at NICE, said: 'Type 2 diabetes is a very large-scale problem and it is important for people to know that it is preventable, and there are simple steps that can be taken to help reduce the risk of developing the disease.
'This guidance will help people to identify their own personal risk and highlights that by losing weight, being more active and improving their diet, they can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.'
Diabetes nurse Jill Hill, a consultant at Birmingham Community Healthcare Trust,' added: 'People may not be aware that diabetes is the most common cause of visual impairment and blindness, kidney failure and non-traumatic lower limb amputations. This guidance focuses on risk assessment and providing those at high risk with evidence-based, effective interventions that can delay or prevent this condition.'
According to NICE, around 850,000 people in the UK have undiagnosed type 2 diabetes, and 15 per cent of the population are at high risk of developing the condition.
The guidance is available online.