Diabetes cases spiral to more than 2m in UK

London: UK doctors have warned that if people don’t control their weight by taking more exercise and eating less, there will be an explosion in the number of cases of diabetes.

Already the number of Britons suffering from the disease is more than two million. It is estimated to reach three million by 2010 unless people take control of their lifestyles. As well as adults many children are also being diagnosed with adult type 2 diabetes which usually requires insulin injections.

The cost of treating diabetes and associated illness costs the UK’s Health Service £10million a day, or £3.5billion a year – around 5 per cent of the NHS budget.

Simon O’Neill, director of care and policy at Diabetes UK, said it was a very worrying situation particularly because diabetes can lead to other serious conditions such as heart disease, strokes, kidney disease, amputations and blindness.

Obesity is blamed for growing numbers of people being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. It is estimated that 65 per cent of men and 55 per cent of women in the UK are overweight or obese, which is a leading cause of type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes occurs when the body gradually loses the ability to process blood sugar, leading to high levels which can damage body organs.