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Diabetes UK responds to obesity and Type 2 diabetes report

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Diabetes UK has today responded to a new report published by Public Health England, which explores the relationship between Type 2 diabetes and obesity.The report also contains new analysis, which shows that men who have a large waist circumference of over 102cm (40.2 inches) are five times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Women with a large waist circumference of over 88cm (34.7 inches) are three times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.

Barbara Young, Chief Executive at Diabetes UK, said: “This report highlights how having a large waist and being overweight put you at a much higher risk of Type 2 diabetes and how the increasing numbers of us who are overweight is fuelling an epidemic of Type 2 diabetes.

“We hope the report acts as a spur to action, as there are now 3.8 million of us in the UK who have diabetes and it costs the NHS £10 billion per year. With many millions of people in the UK now at high risk of Type 2 diabetes, this is an epidemic that looks likely to get even worse and if this happens then the impact on the nation’s health would be devastating and the increase in costs to the NHS would be unsustainable.“This is why we need the Government to focus much more on preventing Type 2 diabetes. It needs to ensure the NHS Health Check is properly rolled out and that those it identifies as being at high risk of Type 2 are given the support they need to make lifestyle changes. It also needs to urgently consider making healthy food more accessible through taxation, other financial measures and more robust regulation of the food industry. But while the Government has a big role to play in turning back the rising tide of Type 2 diabetes, people can also take action themselves. I would urge people to get their risk of Type 2 diabetes assessed, whether online, at a pharmacy or at their GP. This is because knowing if you are at high risk can be an important first step towards making the kind of changes that can help prevent it.”

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