The number of people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK has increased by more than 150,000 to 2.8 million in the past year, warns Diabetes UK today.
The data, collected from GP practices, also show the nationwide figure of people registered as obese to have risen to over five and half million, an increase of more than 265,000. This now means one in 20 of the population is being treated for diabetes and one in ten for obesity.
Type 2 diabetes most prevalent
Around nine in ten people with diabetes (2.5 million) have Type 2 diabetes, which is strongly linked to being overweight or obese, leading a sedentary lifestyle and eating an unhealthy diet. In many cases the condition can be prevented by maintaining a healthy weight, taking regular physical activity and eating a balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables but low in fat, sugar and salt.
“Once again we see a shocking rise in diabetes and obesity rates in the UK," said Simon O’Neill, Diabetes UK Director of Care, Information and Advocacy.
"Many, but not all, people develop Type 2 diabetes because they are overweight or obese - so we must keep up the mantra of ‘five fruit and veg a day’, encourage daily physical activity, and warn of the potentially devastating consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle.
Obesity causing "Type 2 epidemic"
“The obesity-fuelled Type 2 diabetes epidemic is a clear example of where the new coalition government’s rhetoric of tackling health problems through prevention must be turned into action. Failure to act now means a bleak future of spiralling NHS costs and worsening public health.
"Diabetes is serious: if not diagnosed early or poorly managed, it can result in blindness and amputation or a shortened life expectancy from heart disease, stroke and kidney failure.”
Find out your risk of Type 2 diabetes
We are encouraging people to take our new online Diabetes Risk Score test to find out about their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
People at increased risk of Type 2 diabetes can often decrease or even reverse their risk by losing weight, increasing their physical activity levels and improving their diet.