ONE in ten Brits over 40 have now been diagnosed with diabetes as soaring obesity rates take their toll, damning figures show.
Family doctors have told 3.8million patients in the UK they have the disease, with the number more than doubling in 20 years.
Diabetes UK blame a ‘dramatic increase’ in obesity for the surge in people being diagnosed with diabetes[/caption]
People in some parts of the country are three times more likely to be diagnosed with the condition than those in other areas.
Being too fat is the single biggest risk factor for developing type-2 diabetes, which accounts for around nine in ten cases.
Charity Diabetes UK blames a “dramatic increase” in obesity for the surge in diagnoses, with three in five adults now overweight or obese.
Age, family history and ethnicity also contribute to someone’s risk, with minorities more likely to develop diabetes.
Bradford City has the highest incidence of diabetes in the country, with 10.67 per cent of patients registered with a GP diagnosed.
This compares with just 3.7 per cent in Richmond, South West London, which has the lowest figures.
Almost 1million more people are thought to be unknowingly living with diabetes, taking the total affected in the UK to 4.7million.
This is expected to soar to 5.5million by 2030.
‘HALT THIS EPIDEMIC’
Many cases of type-2 could be prevented or delayed by eating a healthier diet, exercising more and losing weight.
Left untreated, it can lead to blindness, nerve damage and amputation.
Chris Askew, from Diabetes UK, said: “Millions of type-2 diabetes cases could be prevented if we help people understand their risk and how to reduce it.”
Caroline Cerny, from the Obesity Health Alliance, said the problem is likely to get worse unless there are tough bans on promoting junk food.
She added: “This dramatic increase in the number of people living with type-2 diabetes is likely to spiral further as obesity rates continue to rise.
“The good news is that we can do something to halt this epidemic.”
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Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum, said telling kids they could lose their legs or go blind would encourage them to take better care of their weight.
He added: “It might seem extreme but it’s the truth. And children at whatever age understand the truth when sensitively put.”
Diabetes UK analysed data from various sources, including NHS England, Public Health England and the Association of Public Health Observatories.
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