Diabetes and Obesity
The UK is the 'fattest' country in Europe. The number of obese adults is forecast to rise by 73% over the next 20 years from to 26 million people, resulting in more than a million extra cases of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Obesity is also no longer a condition that just affects older people, although the likelihood does increase with age, and increasing numbers of young people have been
diagnosed with obesity.
It is estimated that approximately 1 in every 5 adults in the UK is overweight, and approximately one in every 15 is obese.
Links between obesity and type 2
The links between type 2 diabetes and obesity are firmly established.
Without the intervention of a healthy diet and appropriate exercise, obesity may develop into diabetes over a relatively short period of time.
Education and awareness is the key to solving the diabetes problem in the UK, but tackling obesity when it is still at an early stage is essential in preventing the spread of the disease.
In the UK, the cost to the NHS of diabetes and related conditions is enormous, and is only likely to grow in size.
Patient numbers are forecast to double by as early as 2015, meaning a large and potentially unsustainable drain on resources.
Complications such as foot ulceration, nephropathy, retinopathy and heart disease, as well as being serious risks for the patients are very costly to treat.
There is a need for widespread and far-reaching culturally appropriate educational literature that informs the population of the risk of eating badly and not taking exercise.
Modifying lifestyle factors can often prevent obesity, and in order to avoid a healthcare crisis the UK needs to spread information that highlights the importance of doing just that.
Preventing childhood obesity, which is currently rising in the UK, should be a priority.