Currently, the estimated global prevalence of diabetes is over 285 million and this figure is expected to increase to 438 million people by 2030. In the UK, since 1996, the incidence of people diagnosed with diabetes has increased from 1.4 million to 2.9 million. This number continues to rise and most health experts agree that by 2025 over 4 million people will have diabetes. The majority of cases will be type 2 diabetes because of our ageing population and the rising numbers of people, including children and adolescents, who are overweight and obese.1 For this reason, diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges affecting the UK.
Type 2 diabetes and obesity
Type 2 diabetes has a strong association with overweight and obesity.2 Between 80 and 90 per cent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight and approximately 60 to 90 per cent of type 2 diabetes is obesity related.3 As BMI increases, so does the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In fact, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes is 3 to 7 times higher in obese adults than in those of normal weight. People with a BMI of more than 35kg/m2 are twenty times more likely than those with a BMI of between 18.5 and 24.9kg/m2 to develop diabetes.4