One new case of Type 2 diabetes every THREE MINUTES as obesity boom drives a ‘frightening’ increase in the disease
- NHS data revealed there were 202,665 new cases in England and Wales in 2017
- Diabetes is the UK’s fastest growing health crisis with the number of sufferers doubling in 20 years to 3.7million
- As many as 90 per cent of new cases are Type 2 linked to poor diet and lifestyle
- Diabetes UK’s chief executive said Type 2 could be reversed by eating well, being active and achieving a healthy weight
Spiralling obesity rates mean one person is diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes every three minutes, figures show.
The number of new cases in England and Wales reached 202,665 in 2017 – the equivalent of about 23 people every hour, according to NHS data.
Experts said the statistics illustrate the ‘frightening speed’ at which the obesity-driven illness is increasing.
Around 90 per cent of the 3.7million people that have the diabetes in the UK suffer from Type 2, which is linked to a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet
Diabetes is the UK’s fastest growing health crisis, with the number of sufferers doubling in 20 years from 1.9million to 3.7million. A million more are estimated to be unaware they are living with the condition.
Analysis by Diabetes UK of the latest confirmed figures found there had been 192,245 new diagnoses in England and 10,420 in Wales.
Some 90 per cent of diabetes sufferers have the Type 2 form, which is linked to sedentary lifestyles and poor diet.
Two-thirds of adults and a third of children are now overweight – and the UK has the third highest obesity rate in Europe. The charity said the UK must get to grips with its bulging waistline to reduce rates of the illness.
Chris Askew, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: ‘One person being diagnosed every three minutes illustrates the frightening speed at which the number of people living with Type 2 diabetes is increasing. However, three in five cases of Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by eating well, being active and achieving a healthy weight, meaning there is hope for the future.
Diabetes is the UK’s fastest growing health crisis with the number of cases doubling in 20 years to 3.7million
Two-thirds of adults and a third of children are now overweight – and the UK has the third highest obesity rate in Europe
‘Action must also be taken to tackle the obesity epidemic, which has contributed to the rise of Type 2 diabetes.’
He said a further 12.3million are at risk of developing the condition and encouraged people to use the NHS Know Your Risk tool.
Diabetes costs the NHS almost £9billion a year and one in six hospital beds at any one time are occupied by someone with the condition.
While Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease which occurs if the body stops producing insulin, Type 2 is largely preventable.
Type 2 develops because of a fatty build-up around the muscle and liver cells – with nine in ten with this form of disease either overweight or obese.
Although both types can be controlled using drugs, it is still regarded as a life-shortening condition because of the damage caused by the build-up of sugar in the blood over time. The charity estimates that unless decisive action is taken, by 2030 more than 5.5million people will be living with diabetes in the UK.
Measures including prescribing a low-calorie soup and shake diet to patients to reverse the condition, are being rolled out as part of the NHS Long Term Plan. The scheme puts diabetics on a liquid-only diet of 800 calories a day after trials showed it was successful.
Department of Health officials are also considering measures to reduce obesity, including mandatory calorie labelling and bans on promotions on foods that are high in sugar and fat.
Food firms and restaurants have also been told to cut their calorie content by a fifth by 2024, by reducing portion sizes or changing the ingredients.
Tam Fry, of the National Obesity Forum, said: ‘Although a prevention plan is now being rolled out, expect the figures to escalate until the Government begins to be serious about tackling obesity.’
Dr Partha Kar, associate clinical director for diabetes for NHS England, said the figures ‘confirm the importance of the action set out in the NHS Long Term Plan including expanding the NHS Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Programme so that 200,000 every year can benefit’.