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Fact File - The Cold Hard Facts Of Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes

It is well documented that being overweight or obese carries plenty of health risks.

It has been shown that being overweight or obese is the main modifiable risk factor for type 2 diabetes, and so therefore we felt it was important to highlight and signify this link, along with the costs, complications and long-term effects to individuals, businesses and the UK economy.


Type 2 Diabetes & The Health Impact

  • People with diabetes at greater risk of cardiovascular disease, blindness, amputation, kidney disease and depression than someone without diabetes.
  • Leading cause for preventable sight loss among people of working age in England and Wales.
  • In England between 2010-2011, causes approximately 23,300 deaths.
  • Diabetes leads to a two-fold excess risk for cardiovascular disease.
  • Up to 100 people a week have a limb amputated in the UK as a result of diabetes.
  • Depression is nearly twice as high among people with type 2 diabetes than in those without the condition.



  • In 2012, 62% of adults were overweight or obese in England (BMI ≥25), 24.7% were obese (BMI ≥30) and 2.4% were severely obese (BMI ≥40).
  • 90% of adults with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese.
  • Overweight adults (BMI ≥25), five times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared with those of a healthy weight.
  • Obese adults (BMI ≥30), seven times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared with those of a healthy weight.
  • Men with waist circumference greater than 102cm are five times more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes.
  • Women with a waist circumference greater than 88cm are three times more like likely to be diagnosed with diabetes.


Type 2 Diabetes Prevalence

  • Approximately 25% of people with type 2 diabetes have the condition but are unaware of it.
  • Currently, the number of people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK is estimated to be 3.2 million.
  • This represents 6% of the UK population.
  • That equates to 1 in every 17 people having diabetes (includes diagnosed and undiagnosed).
  • It is predicted that 630,000 people in the UK have diabetes but haven’t been diagnosed.
  • Prevalence of diabetes is calculated to rise to 5 million people within the next 10 years.


Economic Impact

  • The cost of diabetes to the NHS is over £1.5 million an hour. Which equates to 10% of the NHS budget for England and Wales.
  • Therefore, £25,000 is being spent on diabetes every minute.
  • Annual UK cost of absenteeism due to diabetes: £8.4 billion.
  • Annual UK cost of early retirement due to diabetes: £6.9 billion.


Maintaining a healthy weight through a healthy and balanced lifestyle (diet and exercise) is paramount when it comes to reducing your risk of developing diabetes along with a whole host of further illnesses. 


To help energise, engage and motivate staff our Power Up & Motivate With Positive Nutrition Workplace Wellbeing Initiatives can be helpful. To find out more call Anna Mason on 07778 218009 for an obligation free conversation.

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