Increasing numbers of children and young people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in Leeds

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Leeds City Council are working on a new strategy to tackle the rising problem.

Health bosses in Leeds are pledging to do all they can to combat an increasing number of children and young people being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

The latest figures issued by Leeds City Council and the NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group reveal that around 100 under 25's have type 2 diabetes in Leeds.

Type 2 diabetes is a serious, lifelong condition that causes blood sugars levels to become too high due to a problem in the body with a chemical called insulin.

If untreated, it can lead to serious health problems like heart disease, kidney disease and blindness.

The risk of developing type 2 is greatly increased by being overweight or obese.

On average in the Yorkshire region, 20.6 per cent of year six pupils were considered obese according to Leeds-based NHS Digital’s 2017/2018 National Child Measurement Programme.

A joint statement by Leeds City Council and NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group said: “While Leeds currently has better than average figures for obesity in younger children, we recognise that this is not the case as they get older, which puts them at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

“We already have a very successful prevention programme in Leeds but recognise that we can still do more. Over the summer, we worked with health care professionals, specialist voluntary sector organisations, people with diabetes, their families and carers to develop a new five year diabetes strategy.”

Carol Bacon, Children’s Diabetes Nurse Specialist at Leeds Children’s Hospital, said: “The Leeds Children and Young People’s Diabetes Service provides medical, nursing, dietetic and psychological support to children and young people (0-19 years of age) with diabetes.

As one of the largest paediatric diabetes services in the UK, our specialist team takes care of over 450 young patients, from diagnosis to long-term follow-up, with the aim of achieving the best long-term health outcomes for our young patients.We have developed a special service for children and young people with type 2 diabetes.

As children and young people with type 2 diabetes are characteristically overweight, we help children and young people understand the importance of lifestyle change and in setting goals around healthy eating, weight-loss and keeping active."