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NEWS

Charity news

As ever, the UK's diabetes charities have been working

hard to keep the needs of people with diabetes in the

public eye.

Diabetes UK

Figures released in November '21

from the government's National

Child Measurement Programme

prompted comments from Nikki

Joule, Policy Manager at Diabetes

UK, who said, "This new data, which

shows that two fifths of children

aged 10-11 in England are living with

overweight and obesity is hugely

concerning, and it underlines why

urgent action is needed to improve

children's health. Living with obesity

significantly increases your risk of

Type 2 diabetes, a condition which

is known to have more severe and

acute consequences in children and

young people."

She continued, "Type 2 diabetes

can be devastating in young people,

and the Government's plan to provide

tailored weight loss treatment in

15 clinics across the country is an

important step in tackling childhood

obesity, helping those at high risk to

reduce their chances of developing

the condition. Children living in

the most deprived areas are more

than twice as likely to be living

with obesity than those in the least

deprived areas, and the pandemic has

only exacerbated these inequalities.

We hope these clinics will target

those most in need of support. The

environment we live in is a major

contributing factor to rising levels

of childhood obesity and, for too

long, too many children have been

exposed to unhealthy food. Measures

such as restricting promotion of junk

food and ensuring easier access to

healthier food are vital if we are to

reverse this worrying trajectory and

guarantee healthier futures for the

next generation."

Caroline Cerny, Alliance Lead at

the Obesity Health Alliance, added,

"This new data highlights the need

for a relentless drive on improving

children's health. In particular we

need an intense focus on closing

the gap between the most and least

deprived to ensure every single child

has an equal chance to grow up

healthy. Childhood obesity rates are

twice as high in the most deprived

communities compared to the least,

highlighting that addressing obesity

is key to tackling health inequalities.

"There are several aspects of

the pandemic that are likely to have

contributed to this increase child

obesity levels. But is very clear

from data showing increases in

sales of confectionery, biscuits and

fast food that junk food companies

used the opportunity to keep their

unhealthy products centre stage in

children's minds. We need to break

the junk food cycle to improve

children's health. New restrictions

on junk food marketing, such as the

9pm watershed on advertising, is

a positive move. Next we need the

Government to take stronger action

to improve everyday food and drink

with a levy on food companies to

incentivise them to improve."

Positive impact

Responding to new research

published in Diabetologia, which

found that low energy diets with

formula meal replacements are the

most effective methods of weight

management and remission in

adults with Type 2 diabetes, Dr

Lucy Chambers, Head of Research

Communications at Diabetes UK,

said: "This review, which combines

findings from many studies, answers

important questions about which

diets are most effective for weight

loss and remission in people with

Type 2 diabetes. Diets that focus on

reducing calories, such as low-calorie

meal replacement diets, rather

than reducing intake of certain

nutrients or foods groups, such as

carbohydrates, were found to give

people with Type 2 diabetes the best

chance of losing weight and going

into remission.

"Weight loss can help people

with Type 2 diabetes manage

their condition and Diabetes UK's

landmark DiRECT study showed

that losing a substantial amount of

weight - around 15kg - increases the

chance of going into remission. But

even a small amount of weight loss

can have a very positive impact on

health and wellbeing. It's important

to remember that there's no onesize-fits-all

'diet for diabetes'. Lowcalorie

diets can be challenging, and

if you have Type 2 diabetes and want

to lose weight, getting support from

a healthcare professional can help

you find an approach that is safe and

works for you."

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