Experts Forecast Soaring Diabetes Levels Due to Obesity

Health charity Diabetes UK has warned that the number of people with diabetes is expected to increase by nearly 20% between now and the end of the decade. 

Diabetes UK estimate that diabetes currently affects about 3.7 million people in Britain. This includes an estimated 850,000 people who are not yet aware that they have Type 2 diabetes. By 2020, it is expected that a further 700,000 will be affected by the condition, taking the diabetic population to 4.4 million in just 8 years time.

NHS Cost of Obesity

The NHS already spends around 10% of its budget treating diabetics, whose bodies do not produce enough insulin. As well as the risk of hyperglycaemic and hypoglycaemic states, diabetics are at risk of blindness, amputation, kidney failure and cardiovascular disease.

Diabetes UK’s Chief Executive, Barbara Young, said that with current NHS budget pressures, treating diabetes “threatens to bankrupt the NHS”.

She explained:

“The healthcare system is already at breaking point in terms of its ability to provide care for people with diabetes and the result is that many people are developing health complications that could have been avoided and are dying early as a result.”

“We face the very real prospect of the rise in the number of people with the condition combining with NHS budget pressures to create a perfect storm that threatens to bankrupt the NHS.”

Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90% of diabetes in the UK and is linked to obesity. That’s why Diabetes UK is calling on the government to raise awareness of the risks of Type 2 diabetes and encourage healthier lifestyles.

Ms Young explains:

“If this projected increase becomes reality, it would be a calamity for the healthcare system and a disaster for public health. But the Government and the NHS do not seem to have grasped the scale of the impending crisis and at the moment we seem to be sleepwalking towards it. But the crucial point is that it is still not too late to take the action needed to avert it.”

“We need a Government-funded campaign to raise awareness of risk factors for Type 2 diabetes to help identify and give proper support to those at high risk, and to highlight the seriousness of the condition so that people understand why they should be doing everything they can to prevent it.”

As the majority of new type 2 diabetics are likely to also be of an unhealthy weight, the focus goes back on healthier lifestyles in order to avoid the rise in diabetes.

  • more exercise
  • better food choices
  • portion management

UK Weight Loss

A spokesperson for private weight loss surgery said:

“Many of our patients are diabetics as a result of their weight. The good news is that weight loss can put type 2 diabetes into remission. This means that medication such as insulin can be reduced or even stopped in many cases.” 

“There are many benefits to achieving a healthy weight. Weight loss surgery is a big decision and should be seen as a last resort, but the patients we see have struggled with other methods and in such cases, a  gastric bandgastric bypass, or gastric sleeve procedure or a non-surgical gastric balloon could be appropriate. These are clinically proven weight loss tools and work very well when combined with aftercare and dietary support.”

Mr Marcus Reddy, Weight Loss Surgeon

Consultant Bariatric Surgeon, Mr Reddy, based in London and Surrey offers a range of obesity surgery procedures for overweight and obese patients. Weight loss surgery options include the gastric sleevegastric bypass and gastric band with excellent standards of aftercare and support to help patients succeed in losing the excess weight for good.

Contact Us

For further information about weight loss surgery or to book an appointment, please call 0207 100 8083 or email


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