It's estimated that hundreds of thousands of people in our region who are overweight or obese are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes which can lead to range of serious conditions like strokes, heart disease, limb amputation and even death.
Experts from Diabetes UK say our addiction to sugar and fast food means one person across the country is diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes every three minutes.
We spoke to Emma Elvin, a senior clinical advisor at Diabetes UK:
Well now the NHS has teamed up with Weightwatchers to offer a free diet plan and health coach to everyone diagnosed with the condition over the next four years.
202,665 people were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in England and Wales in 2017, the most recent year for which statistics are available. That amounts to 23 people every hour, or one person every three minutes.
Of these new diagnoses in 2017, 192,245 were in England and 10,420 were in Wales. A further 16,216 people were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in Scotland during the same time period. Statistics are not available for Northern Ireland.
NHS England's Diabetes Prevention Programme is running Diabetes Prevention Week from April 1st to 7th to raise awareness about their Healthier You programme, a free service to help people reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes UK has teamed up with NHS England and is encouraging people to find out their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by using the Know Your Risk tool.
Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition that can lead to devastating complications that include sight loss, stroke and kidney failure. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of preventable sight loss and the most common cause of lower limb amputation in the UK.
Recently released figures from Diabetes UK showed the number of people living with diabetes in the UK has risen to 4.7 million, and is expected to reach 5.5 million by 2030. NHS England currently spends 10 per cent of its annual budget on treating diabetes and its associated complications. If nothing change this will increase as more people develop the condition. 90 percent of people diagnosed with diabetes have Type 2.
Clare Howarth, Head of the North of England at Diabetes UK said:
One person being diagnosed every three minutes illustrates the frightening speed at which the number of people living with Type 2 diabetes is increasing. 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.
This gives people the knowledge they need to help them make the necessary lifestyle changes to minimise their risk and avoid or delay a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis.