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Expanding festive waistlines increase diabetes risk

A Diabetes UK survey today reveals that only a third of people know that having a large waist can lead to Type 2 diabetes.

This is particularly poignant during the festive season, when we all tend to eat and drink more than at any other time of year.

Eating too many calorific goodies such as mince pies (around 200 calories each), Christmas cake (up to 250 calories per slice) and mulled wine (about 250 calories in a glass) can leave us all struggling to buckle our belts in the New Year. This is worrying as at-risk waist measurements for Type 2 diabetes are 37 inches or more for men, or 35 inches or more for men of South Asian origin, and 31.5 inches or more for all women.

Festive over-indulgence can have serious health implications for those who go on to develop Type 2 diabetes, as complications can include heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney damage and amputation.

“Watching our waistlines at this time of year is vital as we all need to do our best to reduce our chances of developing this mostly preventable condition," said Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK.

"It is important to remember that around 80 per cent of people with Type 2 diabetes are overweight at diagnosis.

“There are up to 750,000 people in the UK who have Type 2 diabetes but don’t know it. The condition can be undiagnosed for as long as 12 years and 50 per cent of people who have it show signs of complications at diagnosis. The sooner Type 2 diabetes is recognised and becomes well managed, the better your long-term health is protected and the lower your risk of developing complications.”

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