A new report has found that more than 600 children and young people in England and Wales have been treated for type 2 diabetes in the past year.
The figure has risen from the 545 children who were treated for the condition between 2014/15, and the Local Government Association (LGA) has called for greater funding to tackle this rise.
While not restricted to adults, type 2 diabetes is still rare in children and is most commonly linked with obesity, which can increase the risk of further health complications later in life.
The LGA has warned that cuts to public health grants is preventing them from fighting childhood obesity, insisting that the government needs to do more.
The findings come from a report by the Riyal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), which identified 621 young people aged under 25 in England and Wales who were referred to pediatric diabetes units for type 2 diabetes care, 78.5 per cent of whom were also obese.
Fifteen children treated for the condition were aged between five and nine.
The Department of Health responded to the figures by echoing its “clear and comprehensive” commitment to tackling obesity.
“To halt this trend in future, we are delivering what public health experts call the world’s most ambitious plans on childhood obesity and diabetes prevention,” said a spokesman.
From next year a sugar tax will hit food and drink manufacturers, but campaigners still insist this is not enough. Many have called for junk food advertisements to be banned before 21:00.
Making dietary changes is the most important way to prevent and treat obesity and type 2 diabetes. Eating a low-carb diet has been proven to help lower blood sugar levels and reduce dependency on medication among those with existing diabetes, while exercise is also pivotal to enabling weight loss.

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