Charity Diabetes UK has warned that if current trends continue 60% of men and 50% of women will be obese by 2050, with the majority having type two diabetes, which can kill, and the rest at high risk, resulting in an estimated bill of £50 billion for the NHS. Currently in Britain 2.8 million people have been diagnosed with the disease, with a further estimated 850,000 unaware they have it.
Worldwide more than 220 million people are affected and according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) 3.4 million died in 2004 from the consequences of high blood sugar, a figure expected to double between 2005 and 2030. Given that obesity and poor diet are to blame the pandemic should be preventable.
Meanwhile some hope has been raised by the results of a small-scale study of eleven volunteers, all of whom had been recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and who were asked to go on a very strict diet delivering a total of just 600 calories a day for eight weeks.
This caused fat levels in the pancreas to fall rapidly, restoring the secretion of insulin and reversing the disease in all the volunteers, seven of whom remained free of diabetes after three months.