According to a new analysis of data by Diabetes UK, the number of obese individuals in England has almost doubled in the past 20 years.
The analysis of data from the Health Survey for England indicates that the number of individuals aged >16 years with a body mass index of ≥30 increased from 6.9 million in 2007 to 13 million in 2017. It is estimated that 29 per cent of adults and 20 per cent of children aged 10-11 years in England are currently living with obesity.
Obesity has been established as a significant risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes (T2D), accounting for 80-85% of the risk and remains the primary driver for the steep rise in T2D cases over the past 20 years. Additionally, obesity is increasingly contributing to the development of gestational diabetes.
However, tackling overweight and obesity could prevent or delay more than half of all cases of T2D. Diabetes UK has urged the government and industry to deliver sustained action on health and obesity. Chris Askew, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: "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."