The number of people with diabetes is expected to reach 4.4 million by 2020 as the obesity epidemic takes its toll, a charity has warned.
Over the next eight years the number of people in Britain with the condition is expected to increase by 700,000, according to Diabetes UK.
The charity said that the rise in the number of people with the condition will put a significant financial strain on the NHS - which is already spending 10% of its budget on treating people with diabetes.
Chief executive Barbara Young said a combination of diabetes and NHS budget pressures could create a “perfect storm that threatens to bankrupt the NHS”.
The charity, which analysed figures from the Yorkshire and Humber Public Health Observatory, said the vast majority of new cases will be Type 2 diabetes - which is linked to unhealthy lifestyles and obesity and accounts for 90% of all cases.
Diabetes UK said that at present around 3.7 million people in Britain have diabetes, including an estimated 850,000 people who have Type 2 diabetes but do not know it.
Ms Young said: “The healthcare system is already at breaking point in terms of its ability to provide care for people with diabetes and the result is that many people are developing health complications that could have been avoided and are dying early as a result.”