Fears over childhood obesity 'time bomb'

There are fears over childhood obesity 'time bomb' Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire/PA Images

More than 600 children and young people in Wales and England have been treated for Type 2 diabetes, prompting concern about the "time bomb" of childhood obesity.

Some 621 children and young people under 25 received care for Type 2 diabetes in paediatric diabetic units in Wales and England in 2015/16, of which 78.5% were also obese.

That compares to 545 people in 2014/15, according to an audit by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH).

Fifteen children with the condition were aged between five and nine last year.

It is believed that the true total could be higher as the RCPCH audit only covered those being treated in hospital units rather than by their GP.

The Local Government Association have warned that cuts to council public healths grants were impacting on their ability to fight childhood obesity.

A control device for an insulin pump Credit: Rolf Vennenbernd/DPA/PA Images

Type 2 diabetes, which is most common in adults, occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin to regulate its blood sugar levels, and can be linked to lifestyle factors such as obesity.

The charity Diabetes UK say it's 'shocking' that children are having to struggle with a preventable condition:

The Welsh Government say diabetes care for children and young people in Wales is improving, and that the risk of future complications have been reduced significantly:

Meanwhile England's Department of Health said it had a "clear and comprehensive" commitment to tackling childhood obesity."To halt this trend in future, we are delivering what public health experts call the world's most ambitious plans on childhood obesity and diabetes prevention," a spokesman said.

"We have introduced a soft drinks industry levy as well as an extensive sugar reformulation programme - these are already delivering results: in the past year Nestle, Lucozade Ribena Suntory, Tesco, Waitrose, Kellogg's and Sainsbury's have all committed to cutting sugar in their products."