Referrals for childhood type 2 diabetes in England and Wales increase by 50% amid obesity crisis

The number of children being treated in pediatric diabetes units (PDUs) in England and Wales has risen by more than 50% amid a “perfect storm” of rising levels of obesity and the crisis. cost of living, health leaders have said.

Diabetes UK said alarming levels of childhood obesity had caused a “worrying rise” in the number of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and predicted that the cost of living crisis could cause more problems in the coming years.

NHS Digital data shows that almost one in seven children starts primary school with obesity, an increase of almost 50% in just one year. More than a quarter are obese when they finish primary school.

Sign up for First Edition, our free daily newsletter, every weekday morning at 7:00 BST

High levels of obesity combined with pressure from personal finances are creating a “perfect storm that runs the risk of irreversible damage to young people’s health,” said Diabetes UK. He accused the government of “disappointing our children” by calling for concerted action to tackle obesity.

It comes after the government’s decision to delay measures to reduce unhealthy eating, weakening its anti-obesity strategy by postponing for a year the ban on buying one, getting free offers for high-fat foods , salt and sugar.

Demand for care for children with type 2 diabetes in pediatric diabetes units in England and Wales has risen by more than 50% in the last five years, according to Diabetes UK analysis. A total of 973 children with type 2 diabetes were treated on PDUs in 2020-21, compared to 621 in 2015-16.

PDUs have a team of specialists to care for children with type 2 diabetes which may include consultants, nurses and dietitians. The team usually works in a hospital setting, where a child can attend appointments as an outpatient instead of being seen at their GP’s surgery. Previous statistics have shown that in England alone, some 1,600 children have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes UK said children in the most disadvantaged areas of England and Wales were “disproportionately affected” by the disease, with four out of 10 children and young people with type 2 diabetes living in the most disadvantaged areas poor, compared to only one in 19 of the richest. This is similar to data on the prevalence of childhood obesity, he said.

The charity said that in light of the additional burden of the cost of living crisis, poorer children “would carry the weight for decades to come”.

Chris Askew, CEO of Diabetes UK, said: “We are very concerned that this increase in childhood obesity will translate into an even greater increase in children with type 2 diabetes in the coming years, a crisis fueled by health inequalities. long-standing and made even worse by the impacts of the cost-of-living crisis.

“The government must completely rethink its commitment to children’s health. This must begin by urgently reversing the decision to reverse its strategic commitments against obesity and go further, with bold steps to address childhood obesity and the poorer outcomes of children living in poverty in obesity. next white paper on health disparities.

“The UK government is disappointing our children. With a growing number of children living with obesity and a growing number of children diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, we are facing a perfect storm, which is facing a perfect storm. risk of irreversibly damaging the health of young people. “

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *