Type 2 diabetes used to be a disease only seen in people over the age of 40. The reality of today is something vastly different – the number of children and young people being treated for type 2 diabetes in England and Wales has increased by 41% in only four years!
When a child gets type 2 diabetes it also puts them at risk for other complications such as; blindness, amputations and kidney disease.
Izzi Seccombe, the chair of the community wellbeing board at the Local Government Association (LGA), which obtained these figures from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) describes the situation:
Type 2 diabetes typically develops in adults over the age of 40, so – while still rare in children – it is extremely worrying that we are seeing more young people develop the condition
The rise of diabetes is closely linked to the obesity epidemic. 79% of the children suffering from type 2 diabetes were obese. Eustace de Sousa of Public Health England (PHE) says:
The rise in type 2 diabetes in young children highlights why bold measures are needed to tackle childhood obesity – and change won’t happen overnight
The government is investing billions in public health services and has a new childhood obesity plan to get children to exercise more in school and eat less sugary and processed foods.
Let’s hope these measures will be enough to stop this diabesity epidemic.