An estimated 6836 children and young adults in England and Wales have Type 2 diabetes, new analysis from Diabetes UK has found.
This figure includes 6000 cases that are treated in primary care, meaning that the total is almost ten times higher than the reported 715 children and young people under the age of 25 receiving care for Type 2 diabetes from Paediatric Diabetes Units in England and Wales.
‘Type 2 diabetes can be devastating for children and young people. To help shape a future where fewer children develop the condition, we need continued commitment across society to create an environment that reduces obesity,’ said Bridget Turner, Director of Policy and Campaigns at Diabetes UK.
‘We need to encourage healthy living by providing clear and easy to understand nutritional information about the products we are all buying, and protect children from adverts for foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar.’
According to Diabetes UK, the rise in childhood obesity is the main the main factor in the figures, with family history and ethnic background also playing a part. Approximately 34% of children are obese, leading to fears that the number of young people with type 2 diabetes will rise.
‘At the same time, we must look after those who already have the condition so they can avoid serious complications such as amputations, sight loss, stroke and kidney failure,’ added Ms Turner.
‘Children and young people with Type 2 diabetes should have access to expert treatment by healthcare professionals trained to manage and research the condition and the challenges it presents.’