Obesity crisis to escalate as one in three pre-diabetic

By Michael Stones contact

- Last updated on GMT

Britain's £3.2bn obesity crisis will be the subject of a free one-hour webinar next month
Britain's £3.2bn obesity crisis will be the subject of a free one-hour webinar next month

Related tags: Nutrition

Britain’s £3.2bn obesity crisis is set to become much worse, according to a report in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), which predicts that one-in-three adults now have pre-diabetes.

The research forecasts cases of type 2 diabetes will soar in the coming years, cutting life expectancy and increasing disability. The causes of obesity and how food and drink manufacturers can help to remedy the problem will be the subject of an independent, free, one-hour webinar​ at 11am GMT on Thursday July 3. See below for more details.

The study defines pre-diabetes as where blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to qualify as Type 2 diabetes.

Up to 10% of people

Up to 10% of people with pre-diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes each year, according to the research.

Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: “This study is further evidence that there is an increasing number of people who are developing pre-diabetes.

“Having high enough blood glucose levels to be classified as having pre-diabetes leaves people at a significantly increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which is a lifelong condition that already affects more than 3M people and can lead to serious health complications such as heart disease, stroke, amputation and blindness.”

Could be avoided or delayed

Young said people at high risk of pre-diabetes should seek advice to make the lifestyle changes needed to avoid the condition. Up to 80% of cases of type 2 diabetes could be avoided or delayed by making lifestyle changes.

“A tenth of the National Health Service​ [NHS] budget is already being spent on diabetes and unless we get much better at preventing type 2 diabetes this spending will soon rise to unsustainable levels,”​ said Young.

The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence estimated obesity costs the National Health Service about £3.2bn a year.

More information about the BMJ report is available here.

Meanwhile, the Food Manufacture Group has joined forces with the Institute for Food Science & Technology, the British Dietetics Association and the Nutrition Society to stage an independent, free one-hour obesity webinar to be broadcast at 11am GMT on Thursday July 3.

The online seminar– Obesity and health: the big fat, sugar and salt debate – will move the debate away from vested interest, special pleading to a more secure footing based on independent interpretation of sound scientific evidence.

Taking part will be speakers from the National Institute for Health Research, the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), Consensus Action on Salt & Health and Action on Sugar and Leeds University.

Speakers will include:

• Professor Alan Jackson, director National Institute for Health Research, Southampton Biomedical Research Centre

• Barbara Gallani, director of the FDF’s Regulatory, science and health division

• Graham MacGregor, professor of cardiovascular medicine at the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine and chairman of Consensus Action on Salt & Health and Action on Sugar

• Dr Charlotte Evans, lecturer in nutritional epidemiology and public health nutrition at the University of Leeds

Register for your free place here​. Once registered, delegates may listen at any time to the broadcast after its first transmission. There is no limit to the number of people who can attend.

Delegates will be able to put a question to our panel during the broadcast or submit one in advance by emailing Michael.stones@wrbm.com

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