Type 2 diabetes in children hits record high
Record numbers of children and young adults now have type 2 diabetes, according to new figures.
Diabetes UK has analysed data from 2016-17 and found that 6,836 children and young adults aged under 25 are being treated for the condition, commonly associated with poor lifestyle.
That is nearly 10 times higher than the 715 children and young people that the Paediatric Diabetes Units in England and Wales had recently reported had the condition.
This is because Diabetes UK has also taken into account more than 6,000 diabetes cases that are treated in primary care.
With more than a third of children in England (34 per cent) overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school, thousands more could be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in the next few years.
Diabetes UK is calling on the Government to enact measures laid out in its childhood obesity plan to ban junk food advertising on TV to children before 9pm and restrict supermarket price promotions for unhealthy foods.
It says NHS funding for the prevention of type 2 diabetes and improvement of care services should continue to reflect the seriousness of the growing diabetes crisis in order to radically improve health outcomes for future generations.
The charity is also urging the NHS to provide appropriate specialist services to support children and young people with Type 2 diabetes to manage the condition and reduce the risk of serious complications.
Bridget Turner, Director of Policy and Campaigns at Diabetes UK, said: “Type 2 diabetes can be devastating for children and young people. To help shape a future where fewer children develop the condition, we need continued commitment across society to create an environment that reduces obesity.
“We need to encourage healthy living by providing clear and easy to understand nutritional information about the products we are all buying, and protect children from adverts for foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar.
“At the same time, we must look after those who already have the condition so they can avoid serious complications such as amputations, sight loss, stroke and kidney failure.
“Children and young people with type 2 diabetes should have access to expert treatment by healthcare professionals trained to manage and research the condition and the challenges it presents.”