One person is diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes every three minutes in England and Wales, new figures suggest.
A total of 202,665 people received a diagnosis in the two countries in 2017, which is equivalent to 23 people every hour, according to Diabetes UK analysis.
The figures demonstrate the “frightening speed” at which the number of people with the condition is rising – fuelled by the UK’s obesity crisis, the charity said.
Of the new Type 2 diagnoses in 2017, 192,245 were in England and 10,420 were in Wales.
Type 2 diabetes is a largely preventable condition, which can lead to sight loss, stroke, kidney failure and loss of limbs.
Being overweight or obese puts an individual at greater risk of developing the condition.
The number of people living with all types of diabetes in the UK has reached 4.7 million, according to figures released by Diabetes UK in February.
By 2030, this is predicted to rise to 5.5 million.
“One person being diagnosed every three minutes illustrates the frightening speed at which the number of people living with Type 2 diabetes is increasing,” said Chris Askew, chief executive of Diabetes UK.
“However, three in five cases of Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by eating well, being active and achieving a healthy weight, meaning there is hope for the future.”
He added: “Action must also be taken to tackle the obesity epidemic, which has contributed to the rise of Type 2 diabetes.
“While we encourage everyone to eat more healthily and move more, it’s equally important that the Government tackle our obesogenic environment, and make the healthy choice the easy choice.”
Dr Partha Kar, associate clinical director for diabetes for NHS England said: “These figures underline the importance of wider action on obesity prevention, and confirm the importance of the action set out in the NHS Long Term Plan.
“This includes expanding the NHS Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Programme so that 200,000 people every year can benefit, and introducing a pilot of very low calorie diets that have been shown to put Type 2 diabetes into remission in a significant proportion of those that already have it.”
The Diabetes UK analysis uses data from the NHS Digital National Diabetes Audit.