Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar and when a person has very high levels of sugar in their blood it could lead to serious damage to the body’s system, especially the nerves and blood vessels. There is one major cause as to why the increase of diabetes type 2 continuously rises and that is down to the obesity epidemic. The UK currently ranks as the country with the highest level of obesity in Europe, with more than one in four adults obese and nearly two out of three overweight.
Diabetes.co.uk said: “While the exact causes of diabetes are still not fully understood, it is known that being overweight accounts for 80 – 85 per cent of the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
“It is a well-known fact that if you are overweight or obese, you are at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes, particularly if you have excess weight around your tummy.”
Type 2 diabetes has attained the status of a global pandemic, spreading from affluent nations to the emerging economies of Asia, Latin America, and Africa.
Although genetic factors due play a part in developing diabetes, the rapidity with which diabetes prevalence has risen is largely down to the obesity epidemic.
The spiralling obesity rates around the world means that one person is diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes every three minutes, figures show.
The number of new cases in England and Wales reached 202,665 in 2017 which is equivalent to about 23 people every hour, according to NHS data.
Diabetes is the UK’s fastest growing health crisis, with the numbers of sufferers doubling in 20 years from 1.9 million to 3.7 million.
These figures have a further one million added due to those living with the condition and are unaware. Type 2 diabetes develops because of a fatty build-up around the muscle and liver cells and nine in ten with this form of disease are either overweigh or obese.
Chris Askew, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: “One person being diagnosed every three minutes illustrates the frightening speed at which the number of people living with Type 2 diabetes is increasing.
“However, three in five cases of Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by eating well, being active and achieving a healthy weight, meaning there is hope for the future.
“Action must be taken to tackle the obesity epidemic, which has contributed to the rise of Type 2 diabetes.”
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes:
- Frequent urination
- Increased thirst
- Always feeling hungry
- Blurry vision
- Slow helming wounds and cuts
- Tingling, numbness or pain in hands and feet
- Patches of dark skin
Diabetes costs the NHS almost £9 billion a year and one in six hospital beds at any one time are occupied by someone with the condition.
Dietary patterns that include high intakes of refined grains, processed meats, added sugars and not enough fibre have contributed to the rise in obesity.
The World Health Organisation said: “Early diagnosis can be accomplished through relatively inexpensive testing of blood sugar.
“Treatment of diabetes involves diet and physical activity along with lowering blood glucose and the levels of other known risk factors that damage blood vessels.
“Simple lifestyle measures have been shown to be effective in preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes.”