Poor eating habits and little exercise have put one in five at risk of heading to an early grave. The figures, published today, expose the extent to which our increasingly sedentary lives are creating a nationwide health problem.
Public health chiefs say people must change the way they live to arrest the rapid rise in the disease. Last year it was thought seven million were at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
But an obsession with fatty and convenience foods and poor lifestyles has seen those in danger rocket to more than 11 million, a rise of 60 per cent. This is on top of the four million already suffering both types of the ailment. The crisis is now so severe the NHS will struggle to cope with the extra patients, experts say.
Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK which released the figures, said: “That 11.5million people are now at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes is a wake-up call for us all to find out our own risk.
“Many cases are preventable and this is why it is so important people know their risk and take action if they are at increased risk.”
Today the Daily Express launches a bid in conjunction with Diabetes UK to get the nation back on its feet.