Cases of diabetes in the UK top five million for the first time

14 Apr 2023

It’s time for the Government to implement a Food Strategy that’s fit for purpose

Diabetes UK has released figures showing that almost 4.3 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes and an estimated 850,000 are living with the condition but have not yet been formally diagnosed. The charity has also estimated that more than 2.4 million people are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the UK.

Around nine in 10 cases of diabetes are type 2 diabetes, which is often linked to people living with overweight or those who are inactive.

Whilst the risk factors of type 2 diabetes are “multiple and complex” and include age, family history, ethnicity, as well as overweight or obesity, Diabetes UK said that it is worried that the high numbers of people who are living with overweight or obesity – around 64% of adults in England – is translating into an increase in cases of type 2 cases.

They added that the condition is becoming increasingly common among those under the age of 40 and more prevalent in areas where there are higher levels of deprivation.

The BDA represents over 10,800 members of the dietetic workforce. Dietitians are the only qualified and regulated health professionals that assess, diagnose and treat diet and nutrition problems, at an individual and wider public-health level, supporting those living with obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Annette Mansell-Green, Director of the BDA’s Trade Union and Public Affairs says: “These numbers are extremely concerning and demonstrate the need for immediate action from both Government and business to tackle the rising number of type 2 diabetes cases. This news is indicative of a health emergency and is a direct result of lack of investment in public health, education and the NHS over the last 13 years.

“We need to see a comprehensive and ambitious Food Strategy from the UK Government, working with the devolved nations, that binds together the issues of health, food, education, business and advertising to enable the people of this country to make healthy choices.

“It is only through this radical joined up thinking that we can hope to sustainably treat overweight and obesity and food poverty, which is prevalent across the more deprived areas of the UK.”