The latest report suggests that around 533 children and young people now suffer from type 2 diabetes, which is up from 500 detected last year. These figures are for England and Wales where the first case was reported some 16 years back. The figures were compiled by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Public Health (RCPH) for people aged 19 or under. Among these 533 are 11 kids that are aged nine or under.
The figures that were made public in the National Paediatric Diabetes Audit have been branded a “wake-up call for the nation”. Though it is just 2% of all child diabetes as most have type 1, still these figures are too much. There is nothing that can be done for type 1 diabetes, but type 2 is linked to lifestyle and can be prevented. It is the childhood obesity thing, which is fuelling this diabetes surge.
Helen Dickens, interim director of Type 2 diabetes prevention at Diabetes UK, said: “Type 2 diabetes typically develops in adults over the age of 40, so it is extremely worrying that we are seeing more young people develop the condition. Although there are a number of risk factors for Type 2 diabetes, some of which are out of our control, one of the most important risk factors is being overweight or obese, which we can do something about.That’s why it is so essential that the Government publishes its childhood obesity strategy to help make it as easy as possible for children and their families to make healthier choices and lead healthier lives.”
The government is under immense pressure to tackle the problem and its childhood obesity strategy is expected to be published at some point in the summer.
The Local Government Association (LGA) said that the prevalence of such a condition, which is largely preventable, should act as a wake-up call for the government to take stern measures in the upcoming childhood obesity strategy. If the government does not take any bold action, this figure is going to increase year by year.
The news has made everyone worried. IzziSeccombe Community wellbeing spokeswoman said: “Obesity is usually linked with major health conditions later on in life, but already we are seeing the early consequences of child obesity, with more and more children developing type 2 diabetes as a result.”