The UK’s obesity crisis is putting NHS hospitals under increased strain from the number of patients admitted with diabetes-related illnesses, a study has found.
Lack of exercise, poor diet, smoking and alcohol abuse are all contributing to increasing levels of obesity in the UK, sending the number of people with diabetes “mushrooming”, according to Professor Anthony Barnett, clinical director for diabetes at Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust in Birmingham.
A diabetes audit of 200 NHS hospitals, led by diabetes tsar Dr Rowan Hillson, found disparity between the number of people diagnosed with the disease in the UK (4 per cent of the population) and the number of hospital patients who have the disease (20 per cent of those on the wards).
Professor Barnett said: “The situation we are facing as a country is absolutely terrifying.
“The obesity rates get worse and worse, the numbers with diabetes keep mushrooming, and given that these people are prone to a whole range of serious medical conditions, it has enormous impact on NHS resources,” he said.