There have been many reports in the press recently about the growing issue of diabetes in the UK. Over the last 5 years, the number of type 2 diabetes cases has increased by 50% and there have been 117,000 cases in the last 12 months alone. Without any shadow of a doubt, this is a huge problem that needs to be addressed, as it appears that it is spiralling out of control.
This is both a problem that poses a significant human cost, but also poses a financial burden on the nation. Each year, the NHS spends around 9billion on treating those with diabetes, which is nearly a tenth of the entire NHS budget. It seems that the NHS is struggling with the recent cuts and as such, something needs to be done about the problem of diabetes. However, anyone diagnosed with diabetes must receive the appropriate treatment, in order to prevent any long-term complications further down the line, which could put lives at risk.
Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes, which affects around 90% of all diabetes sufferers in the UK. Type 2 diabetes is often associated with unhealthy lifestyle, whereas type 1 diabetes is thought to be a genetic condition. If type 2 diabetes is generally caused by unhealthy living, surely this suggests that it can be prevented if people adopt healthier lifestyles. It used to be the fact that type 2 diabetes was more commonly found in adults, but in recent years the number of cases in children has risen dramatically.
Diabetes experts suggest that the increase in the number of type 2 cases is largely due to the increase in obesity cases in the UK. Obesity is becoming more common in children, again because of unhealthy lifestyle. Poor diet and lack of exercise are intrinsically linked with obesity and this linked to type 2 diabetes. The excess body fat interferes with insulin.
There have been many calls from action groups to parents, in order to get them to promote healthier lifestyles for their children. It’s not just children that need to be pushed into leading healthier lifestyles; as the figures would suggest, it’s the nation as a whole. A healthy lifestyle could dramatically reduce the risk of contracting type 2 diabetes.