The number of people who are obese in England has almost doubled in the last 20 years from 6.9 to 13 million, according to new research by Diabetes UK.
According to the charity’s analysis of the Health Survey of England In England 29% of adults and 20% of 10 to 11 year olds are living with obesity. It is the most significant risk factor for new cases of type 2 diabetes, accounting for 80 to 85% of someone’s risk.
‘We’re facing an urgent public health problem. Tackling this requires ambitious and sustained action from national governments, across sectors and departments. That’s because, right now, it’s hard to be healthy,’ said Chris Askew, chief executive of Diabetes UK.
‘We will keep challenging government and industry to put in place regulations and practices that make healthy choices easier for everyone, including making food and drinks healthier, and addressing the marketing and promotion of unhealthy foods.’
Obesity the main driver behind the leap in type 2 diabetes cases over the last 20 years. There are an estimated 2.85 million people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in England, and more than 850,000 living with the condition who don’t know they have it because they haven’t been diagnosed, bringing the total number up to 3.7 million.
‘These figures are concerning, and bold action is needed if we are going to slash the number of people living with obesity. Creating a healthy environment where the healthy choice is the easy choice will be critical in achieving this,’ said John Maingay, Director of Policy and Influencing at the British Heart Foundation.
‘We know that children living with obesity are more likely to become obese adults, putting them at increased risk of developing heart and circulatory diseases later in life. The relentless promotion of junk foods is a key factor in this worrying trend.’