By 2030, almost one in 10 people in Britain will have diabetes, a reality that will place even more pressure on an already struggling health system, shocking new figures reveal.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the cost of treating diabetes in England (mostly Type 2) is set to sharply rise too going forward, increasing from £8.4 billion a year at present to £14.3billion a year by 2035.
The figures, compiled by the Sunday Express, were based on data from the charity Diabetes UK and a response to a parliamentary question. They were released to coincide with Diabetes Awareness Week, which runs from Monday 11 June to Sunday 17 June.
Right now, 8% of the UK population have diabetes (equivalent to around four million people), but this is expected to rise to 9.3% by 2030 (almost five million people). While the figures do not distinguish between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, nine out of 10 diabetes cases in the UK are Type 2 – which is linked to obesity.
The news comes as a crackdown on unhealthy snacks is happening across the country, with supermarkets being forced to stop offering them at checkouts and two-for-one offers on junk food being banned under a wave of new government legislation designed to tackle childhood obesity.
The UK Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has also proposed other measures to curb the country’s rising childhood obesity problem, including banning the use of cartoon characters and celebrities to promote junk food, which ministers are also considering.
The Differences Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
Meanwhile, many people in the UK remain in the dark when it comes to the different types of diabetes and how they’re treated.
What both types of diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2) have in common is that they both cause people to have too much glucose (sugar) in their blood. However, while the bodies of Type 1 diabetes sufferers cannot make any insulin (the hormone that allows the glucose in our blood to enter our cells), the bodies of people with Type 2 diabetes can. The problem Type 2 sufferers have is that their bodies either cannot make enough insulin or what they do make doesn’t work effectively.
In both types, problems arise when too much glucose builds up in a person’s blood, which can lead to serious complications.
Tam Fry, chair of the National Obesity Forum, said: “If our obesity epidemic doesn’t bring the NHS to its knees, the rising costs of treating diabetes surely will”.
You can find out more about diabetes on the Diabetes UK website, where there are pages dedicated to living with diabetes, the main facts you need to know about diabetes and how best to talk to someone with diabetes.
It’s great to hear that the government are taking steps to tackle the problem of childhood obesity in the UK, but will these measures be enough on their own? It’s a tragedy that millions of people are suffering from what is, in some cases, a preventable disease.
I joined Premier Choice Group as an SME/Corporate Consultant in 2017 and look after the Healthcare & Protection needs of a nationwide portfolio. I began my career in Healthcare and Protection in 1985 with BUPA, before moving on to Royal & Sun Alliance. In 2002, I became an Intermediary and worked with Private Clients, SME’s and Corporate clients on a local, national and international basis.