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Report links sight problems with obesity

A report published by The Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB) shows that obese people are twice as likely to lose their sight than those of normal weight.

Previous research has shown that being obese increases the risk of developing conditions like diabetic retinopathy along with glaucoma and cateracts.  All these conditions can cause permanent damage and total blindness.

"We are already well aware of the link between obesity and Type 2 diabetes, but this report also highlights the range of sight problems that obesity can bring, said Amanda Eden, Care Advisor at Diabetes UK. 

"60 per cent of people with Type 2 diabetes and nearly all people with Type 1 diabetes will have some degree of retinopathy 20 years after diagnosis.

"However, if the condition is picked up early it can be treated effectively in 90 per cent of cases so it's vital that people have their eyes screened at least once a year.  

"Keeping good blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels and leading a healthy lifestyle will also help to reduce the risk of sight problems developing."

Currently one in five children and adults are considered to be obese in the UK.

The report - Feeling great, looking good - is published as part of RNIB's Open Your Eyes campaign, which aims to end preventable sight loss by 2020.

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