‘Sofa generation’ leading to Type 2 diabetes epidemic

Posted by ap507 at Aug 26, 2015 10:30 AM |
University of Leicester researchers involved in new study

Issued by the University of Leicester Press Office on 26 August

The nation’s lack of physical activity is leading to a new “sofa generation” at risk of Type 2 diabetes, a leading health researcher has said.

An NHS report published today ahead of the roll out of the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme has claimed that five million people fall into the category of being at risk of the condition.

Another report also out today included the results of research carried out by the University of Leicester’s Dr Laura Gray, which estimated the national campaign could reduce Type 2 diabetes in at risk groups by 26 per cent.

Dr Gray, who is based at the Leicester Diabetes Centre, said: “Our review of all of the relevant evidence in this area has shown the huge potential this national programme has on making a dramatic impact on the health of the nation – preventing up to one in four people at risk of Type 2 diabetes from getting the condition.”

Meanwhile Professor Melanie Davies, an internationally renowned expert in Type 2 diabetes and Co-Director of the Leicester Diabetes Centre, believes today’s five million prediction is a “reflection of the times”.

She said: “We are spending more and more of our lives sat down being inactive. We all live in a much more sedentary society now where it’s easy to spend the majority of each and every day sat down either at our desk working, socialising and shopping as well as banking.

“However, this sedentary lifestyle does come with consequences and unless people move more they could end up with unwanted health complications. We are becoming the sofa generation and this inactivity, together with an increasing consumption of unhealthy foods and obesity, is leading to more cases of Type 2 diabetes.”

An independent report carried out to inform the emerging NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme has estimated there are five million people aged 16 years and over with ‘non-diabetic hyperglycaemia’, where blood sugar levels start to reach unhealthy levels putting people at risk of Type 2 diabetes – a period often referred to as pre-diabetes.  

The programme was unveiled in March and aims to significantly reduce the four million people in England otherwise expected to have Type 2 diabetes by 2025. Public Health England (PHE), NHS England and Diabetes UK are coordinating the health drive.

England will be the first country to implement a national evidence-based diabetes prevention programme at scale, delivering on the commitment set out in the NHS Forward View and PHE’s Evidence into Action last year.

The Leicester Risk Assessment Score, available nationally at Boots and Tesco stores as well as on the Diabetes UK website, and the Leicester Practice Risk Score for GP practices, both developed by the Leicester Diabetes Centre, are among four leading methods for accurately detecting people at risk of Type 2 diabetes which will be used by the programme.

The Leicester Diabetes Centre is an international centre of excellence in research, education and innovation, which is a partnership between the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and the University of Leicester and led by Professor Kamlesh Khunti and Professor Melanie Davies. It is hosted at Leicester General Hospital.

To take the Leicester Risk Assessment Score, visit: http://riskscore.diabetes.org.uk.


Notes to editors

  • For further details, to arrange an interview or more photographs, email oliver.jelley@ojpr.co.uk or call 07803 003811 or 01604 882342.
  • The Leicester Diabetes Centre is a partnership between the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and the University of Leicester, working with the city and county Clinical Commissioning Groups.It is a leading applied health research unit committed to improving the lives and care of people with diabetes and other long-term conditions.
  • For more information about the Leicester Diabetes Centre, visit http://www.leicesterdiabetescentre.org.uk.

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