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Type 2 diabetes branded 'a UK health emergency'


Diabetes is becoming a “national health emergency”, a charity has warned as figures suggest that hundreds of people are diagnosed with the condition every day in the UK.

Diabetes UK said that more than 280,000 people a year are diagnosed with diabetes − the equivalent to the population of Newcastle.

Each day 738 people are told that they have type 2 diabetes and 30 are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

“If we continue to see people being diagnosed at this rate then the consequences will be disastrous”

Barbara Young

About 3.8 million people in the UK now have the condition and about 35% of the population have borderline diabetes.

The latest figures were derived from analysis of data from the National Diabetes Audit, conducted by Diabetes UK and supermarket chain Tesco.

Diabetes UK has called for more focus on preventing type 2 diabetes, saying that if the rate of people getting the condition continues the consequences could be “disastrous”.

The chief executive of the charity, Barbara Young, said: “It is deeply worrying that more than 700 people a day are being diagnosed with diabetes and this clearly shows the frightening scale of what is fast becoming a national health emergency.

Barbara Young

“If we continue to see people being diagnosed at this rate then the consequences will be disastrous.

“As the number of people with diabetes grows, we are likely to see even more people endure devastating health complications such as amputation and kidney failure and more people die tragically young. It would also lead to an increase in NHS costs that would be simply unsustainable.

“As a country, we are still not giving diabetes healthcare the priority it needs and we also need to get much better at preventing type 2 diabetes before it is too late.”

Professor Kevin Fenton, national director of health and wellbeing at Public Health England, said: “Public Health England welcomes Diabetes UK placing a refreshed emphasis on prevention. We take the growing number of people at risk of diabetes very seriously.

Public Health England

Kevin Fenton

“We can all reduce our risk by maintaining a healthy weight, using tips from our eat well plate to get balanced, healthy portion sizes, and getting active every day,” he said.

“We know that making those small changes, no matter how old we are, will have a real impact on our health,” he added.



Readers' comments (3)

  • So, 700 people a day are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.....maybe it is time we turned the microscope around and looked at the bigger picture, namely our local environment. Fast food outlets have sprung up like mushrooms along every main street, side street and in many temporarily empty shops apparently unchallenged and unlimited by Town Planners and Town Hall worthies.
    In a one mile stretch of road near my house and very close to two large schools there are are 30 fast food outlets plus six mini supermarkets selling sandwiches and sugary drinks. They are always full of school children in the mornings stocking up on 'goodies' for the day!
    Limiting the number of these establishments in heavily populated areas and close to schools may go some way towards influencing for the better the diets and eating habits of the population.
    Why are Town Council Planners not working together with Local Health Officials to try to limit the number of these outlets - so accessible and so irresistible to the young? We must surely seek to remove some of the obvious causative factors of type 2 diabetes by good town planning and joined up thinking by local government officials. They need to work together to promote healthy eating in the community.

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  • There are many natural supplements that can assist the likes of Type 2 diabetes. We have strong evidence albeit on a small sample base that MANGOSTEEN fruit pericarp helps manage insulin levels ... the problem is only "BIG PHARMA" can ever afford big clinical trials and they will never conduct them on a fruit that nature provided as they are unable to patent it.[i.e. they cannot make money out of it.]. Getting heard by the likes of the Diabetes UK organisation is not easy either - it's their job to go in search of new ideas ...but how readily do we see this t happen. We got told we need "clinical evidence". I know one very happy person - the Malaysian angel investor in VIE100! - a type 2 diabetic who now has things under control.

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  • Ebernoe | 7-Jul-2014 4:32 pm

    There always seems to be confusion. I agree with your comments, expecting the public to have a healthy diet with all the fast food chains that are popping up everywhere. Same goes for the promotion of a healthy lifestyle, and then the problem for those that live longer, care for those who will need it and financing pensions, etc.
    I think whatever path the public choose to go down, they will be blamed for their predicament, a LTC problem, a long term care issue, or a lengthy pension pay out - a no-win situation!

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