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Prevention of type 2 and gestational diabetes by addressing the root causes of ill health

Obesity is a major risk factor in the development of type 2 diabetes. We know that our environment does not always support us to make healthy choices. In fact sometimes they can make the healthy choice harder to make.

To slow down the rising number of people living with type 2 and gestational diabetes we need strong, ambitious action from the government, food and drink industry, local authorities and others to reduce obesity and the underlying causes of ill health across society.

Key points

  • We are concerned about the continuing rise in type 2 and gestational diabetes in the UK.

  • We are particularly concerned about the growing numbers of younger people developing type 2 diabetes.

  • There is an urgent need to address the widening inequalities that exist in type 2 and gestational diabetes.

  • We are evolving our prevention strategy to focus on the underlying social determinants of health – the conditions into which people are born and live that create health or ill health.

  • We are still committed to addressing the commercial determinants of health – the production and promotion of unhealthy food.

  • A range of interventions are required to address these underlying causes and action is needed from all UK governments at every level.

  • We need a UK cross-government strategy to address the social determinants of health, focused on addressing poverty.

  • We need to address child poverty and ensure everyone has the resources required for a healthy life.

  • We need a system that provides and promotes access to healthy food for all.

  • We need to develop environments and neighbourhoods that are conducive to good health, supporting wellbeing and enabling greater levels of physical activity.

  • We need to create healthy working lives.

  • We need to build health creating housing.

  • We need to address climate change.

  • We need further investment in research and innovation.


Read our 'Prevention of Type 2 and Gestational Diabetes by addressing the root causes of ill health' position statement, October 2022 (PDF, 5.95 MB)


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