The number of people under 40 in the UK being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is rising at a faster pace than the over-40s, according to “shocking” and “incredibly troubling” data that experts say exposes the impact of soaring obesity levels.
The UK ranks among the worst in Europe with the most overweight and obese adults, according to the World Health Organization. On obesity rates alone, the UK is third after Turkey and Malta.
The growing numbers of overweight and obese children and young adults across the UK is now translating into an “alarming acceleration” in type 2 diabetes cases among those aged 18 to 39, analysis by Diabetes UK suggests.
There is a close association between obesity and type 2 diabetes. There is a seven times greater risk of type 2 diabetes in obese people compared with those of healthy weight, and a threefold increase in risk for those just overweight.
“This analysis confirms an incredibly troubling growing trend, underlining how serious health conditions related to obesity are becoming more and more prevalent in a younger demographic,” Chris Askew, the chief executive of Diabetes UK, said.
He added: “While it’s important to remember that type 2 diabetes is a complex condition with multiple other risk factors, such as genetics, family history and ethnicity, these statistics should serve as a serious warning to policymakers and our NHS.
“They mark a shift from what we’ve seen historically with type 2 diabetes and underline why we’ve been calling on the government to press ahead with evidence-based policies aimed at improving the health of our nation and addressing the stark health inequalities that exist in parts of the UK.”
Source: The Guardian, 1 November 2022
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