The charity Diabetes UK has reported that there has been a 50 per cent increase in diabetes in the UK in the last five years. With a rise of 117,000 newly diagnosed cases in the last year alone, there are concerns about the nation’s health, as well as the cost to the NHS, which is now spending around GBP9 billion each year treating the condition, nearly a tenth of its total budget.
There are about three million children and adults in the UK now suffering from either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, with the about 90 per cent having developed type 2, many as a result of being overweight or obese.
With almost a quarter of adults and a fifth of 10-year olds being classified as clinically obese, many experts explain the rise as being due the increase in obesity from fast food and lack of exercise. The extra fat levels are thought to affect the working of the hormone insulin which delivers sugar to cells, and which can lead to type 2 diabetes.
Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, commented “The rate of increase of diabetes is growing with huge human cost and cost to the NHS.”
She added “While rates of other serious conditions, including many cancers, heart disease and stroke, are steady or declining, the epidemic of diabetes continues to grow at even faster rates. We must reverse this trend if more people are not going to suffer unnecessarily and if diabetes is not going to bankrupt the NHS.”

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