The BBC reported this week that there has been a worrying rise in the number of children developing Type 2 diabetes.
Figures for England & Wales show that 533 children and young people have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Last year’s figure was 500. Most children have type 1 diabetes and the type 2 figure represents 2 percent of all cases of diabetes.
While type 2 diabetes is much more common overall, it is still rare in children. Type 2 diabetes is linked to obesity.
The Local Government Association, which represents local councils who have responsibility for public health, believes cases will continue to rise. They believe the Government’s childhood obesity strategy, which is yet to be published, needs to take bold action.
The LGA has called for teaspoon sugar labelling of products and reduced sugar in fizzy drinks, as well as greater provision of tap water in schools. The association also thinks councils should be given the power to ban junk food advertising near schools.
The government has postponed the publication of its childhood obesity plan a number of times. It is expected to be published later this summer.
The Department of Health said it was determined to tackle obesity and that the strategy would look at everything that contributes to a child becoming overweight.
*Pic thanks to Practical Cures on flickr.