The Local Government Association (LGA) has issued a caution against obesity after over 500 cases of Type 2 diabetes in youngsters came to light. This diabetes condition is generally found in people beyond the age of 40 years and is associated with being overweight or obese, which generally happens during later ages. However, an increase in the number of children being found suffering from Type 2 diabetes has raised an alarm.
Most of the children suffer from Type 1 diabetes, which is nowhere associated with the factors pertaining to lifestyle. However, when the LGA evaluated the 2014/15 National Paediatric Diabetes Audit data, it was found that 533 children and young people in England and Wales are suffering from Type 2 diabetes. The figure was inclusive of 11 children, who were nine years or younger.
During the previous annual audit, 500 youngsters, below 19 years of age, were found to be diagnosed with this condition. The situation of the rising number of children with the condition is extremely disturbing, according to Charity Diabetes UK. The LGA cautioned that until and unless the Government’s childhood obesity strategy entails some strong measure, the number of children being attacked by this condition will persistently increase.
The LGA represents 370 councils that have been given the responsibility of monitoring public health in their respective areas. “Obesity is usually linked with major health conditions later on in life, but already, we are seeing the early consequences of child obesity, with more and more children developing Type 2 diabetes as a result”, said LGA community wellbeing spokeswoman Izzi Seccombe.
The LGA had earlier also urged inclusion of a range of actions in the strategy. The suggested measures involved teaspoon sugar labeling, a decrease in the level of sugar in carbonated drinks and increase in the availability of tap water in schools and restaurants, along with providing more powers to councils so that they can prohibit the advertising of junk food around schools.
According to a story published on the topic by News And Star, “The condition, which is linked to being overweight or obese, usually appears in adulthood but a growing number of children are being diagnosed with the condition, the Local Government Association (LGA) warned.”
The association, which represents 370 councils which have a responsibility for public health in their regions, has previously called for a horde of measures to be included in the strategy including; teaspoon sugar labelling and a reduction of sugar content in fizzy drinks, greater provision of tap water in schools and restaurants and for councils to be given powers to ban junk food advertising near schools.
“This will help prevent ill-health in childhood and also reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and other serious health conditions later in life. It is also important to remember that Type 2 diabetes is still extremely rare in children, with most children with diabetes having Type 1 diabetes, which is not linked to lifestyle and cannot be prevented.”
“More than 500 children in England and Wales are now suffering from type 2 diabetes, just 16 years after the first reported case,” according to a news report published by Telegraph.
The figures in the National Paediatric Diabetes Audit have been branded a “wake-up call for the nation”, as the Government faces calls to tackle the rising levels of childhood obesity which is fueling the diabetes surge.
The audit found that 95 percent of those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes were overweight, meaning a body-mass index of 25 to 29, and 83 percent obese, a BMI of 30 or above.
The condition, which usually beings in middle or older age, can cause serious long-term problems, the most of common of which is loss of vision.
A report published in BBC said, “The UK is seeing a small but “extremely worrying” rise in the number of children developing a type of diabetes that is normally seen only in adults and is linked to obesity, say experts.”
A Department of Health official said: “We are determined to tackle obesity, and our comprehensive childhood obesity strategy will build on measures we are already taking, like the soft drinks industry levy.
“The strategy will look at everything that contributes to a child becoming overweight and set out what more can be done by all.”
“Although there are a number of risk factors for type 2 diabetes, some of which are out of our control, one of the most important risk factors is being overweight or obese, which we can do something about.
“That is why it is so essential that the government publishes it’s childhood obesity strategy to help make it as easy as possible.”