A report from the London Assembly Health Committee reveals that cases of type 2 diabetes in London have risen 75% in the last 10 years.
The report carries the title ‘Blood Sugar Rush: Diabetes time bomb in London’ and outlines how London can help to beat the rapidly rising rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes within England’s capital.
The Foreword of the report, provided by the Chair, Dr Onkar Sahota, makes a number of key points in outlining the health problems faced by Londoners, which are also reflected across much of the UK.
Dr Sahota points out the difficulties families have in picking out nutritional meals, noting that practices that “rationalise poor diet choices” should be brought to an end. The Chair goes on to note that the Government’s responsibility deal has been “called into question”. The responsibility deal is a Government initiative that is designed to address poor nutrition choices by encouraging some of the largest food producers to self-regulate the health of their produce.
The report’s recommendation to address this problem is to set “more ambitious pledges with clearer targets for supermarkets and manufacturers to reduce the saturated fat, sugar and salt contents of foods and drinks.”
The recommendation is, once again, relying on large producers and distributors to make their processed foods ‘less bad’ as a way to curb type 2 diabetes. It is disappointing however, that no attention has been given to making healthy foods, particularly vegetables and fresh fruits, more affordable to families.
Far wider action will be needed to change UK attitudes to food, how foods are advertised and incentivise home cooking for a true impact to be made. For example, lack of time is frequently cited as a reason for reliance on processed foods instead of home cooking and yet Ofcom reports that we spend, on average, 4 hours a day watching TV.

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