New figures taken from the National Diabetes Peadiatric Audit show that there are now 533 children and young people living with Type 2 diabetes in the UK.Whilst we are seeing more cases of Type 2 diabetes in children it is important to remember that the vast majority of children with diabetes have Type 1 diabetes which can’t be prevented and isn’t linked to lifestyle.
There are an estimated 31,500 children and young people with diabetes, under the age of 19, in the UK. About 95.1 per cent have Type 1 diabetes; about 1. 9 per cent have Type 2 diabetes; and 2.73 per cent have MODY, CF related diabetes or their diagnosis is not defined.
Helen Dickens, Diabetes UK Interim Director of Type 2 Diabetes Prevention, said: “Type 2 diabetes typically develops in adults over the age of 40, so it is extremely worrying that we are seeing more young people develop the condition.
Although there are a number of risk factors for Type 2 diabetes, some of which are out of our control, one of the most important risk factors is being overweight or obese, which we can do something about.
That's why it is so essential that the Government publishes its Childhood Obesity Strategy to help make it as easy as possible for children and their families to make healthier choices and lead healthier lives. This will help prevent ill-health in childhood and also reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and other serious health conditions later in life. It is also important to remember that Type 2 diabetes is still extremely rare in children, with most children with diabetes having Type 1 diabetes, which is not linked to lifestyle and cannot be prevented.”