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More children suffering from type 2 diabetes in England and Wales

Published on 20/08/18 at 10:22am

The number of children and young people suffering from type-2 diabetes has increased in England in Wales over the past four years, according to figures released by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH).

The number of people under the age of 25 being treated for type-2 diabetes has gone up from 507 to 715 in England and Wales since 2013-2014. More than three quarters of those young people and children were obese. Furthermore almost half of those treated for type 2 diabetes in the United Kingdom in 2016-17 were black or Asian. Those suffering from the disease were also more likely to be female and living in a deprived area.

However the Local Government Association says the number of young people with type-2 diabetes could be higher as a spokesperson for the organisation described the trend as “extremely worrying”.

Official data shows that one fifth of 10 and 11 year olds are obese while one tenth of four and five year olds are obese in England.

Professor Russell Viner, president of the RCPCH, commented that: "A rise in Type 2 diabetes of this magnitude is alarming and shows that the childhood obesity epidemic is starting to bite."

While demonstrating the importance of tackling obesity in children, the data highlights the link between deprivation and poor health. The data comes as the government announced their intentions to halve childhood obesity in England by 2030.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokeswoman said: "We've invested billions in public health services and have already removed the equivalent of 45 million kilograms of sugar from soft drinks every year.

"Our new childhood obesity plan will now get children exercising more in schools, and reduce their exposure to sugary and fatty foods."  

Louis Goss

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