News story

Adults with a large waist are 5 times more likely to get type 2 diabetes

Public Health England (PHE) encourages people to measure and monitor their waistline.

Measuring tape

Public Health England (PHE) has today (31 July 2014) released a report containing new analysis showing that men who have a large waist circumference of over 102cm (40.2 inches) are 5 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Women with a large waist circumference of over 88cm (34.7 inches) are 3 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

Currently 90% of adults with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese and the prevalence of both obesity and diabetes are on the increase. At present 100 people each week in the UK have a limb amputated as a result of diabetes and diabetic eye disease is the main cause of preventable blindness in the working age population in England and Wales.

Diabetes is a serious public health issue; by 2030 the total number of adults with all types of diabetes is projected to rise to 4.6million or 9.5% of the adult population.

Being overweight or obese is the main avoidable risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Not all communities are affected in the same way; people from Black, South Asian and other minority ethnic groups tend to develop type 2 diabetes up to a decade earlier than white European populations, and develop it at a lower body mass index.

In addition deprivation is closely linked to the risk of both obesity and diabetes, with type 2 diabetes being 40% more common among people in the poorest communities compared with those in the richest.

Dr Alison Tedstone, Chief Nutritionist at PHE, said;

Type 2 diabetes is a very serious public health issue which can have significant consequences, such as limb amputations or blindness. The key to reducing diabetes is losing weight which can be achieved through a healthy diet and being more active.

Please note:

NHS Choices have a large amount of information on how to lose weight, which can be found from their website

Read the adult obesity and type 2 diabetes report

Photo by Ben Watkin Used under Flickr Creative Commons

Published 31 July 2014