BBC regional current affairs programme Inside Out looks at the diabetes epidemic sweeping the country and threatening to overwhelm the NHS tonight.
The programme speaks to doctors, dieticians and patients from every corner of England about the growing crisis that could push local health services to breaking point. New data provided by Public Health England given exclusively to Inside Out also shows how hard the spiralling costs of diabetic care will hit the NHS if the nation’s obesity continues to rise.
All 11 regions across the country will look at the steps being taken in their area to tackle type 2 diabetes and the complications that account for 80% of the health costs.
In Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, health correspondent Jamie Coulson visits Bradford, the city thought to have the highest proportion of diabetes sufferers per head of population. He meets the people behind a pioneering project, Bradford Beating Diabetes, which is testing everyone in the city over 40 – and in the case of Asian residents, everyone over 25 – to try to identify those in need of prevention programmes.
In the North East, Inside Out meets Middlesbrough-born X factor finalist Amelia Lily, who explains how she controls her type 1 diabetes. They also visit Professor Roy Taylor from Newcastle University who claims it’s possible to reverse type 2 diabetes by following a strict diet of 800 calories a day.
Inside Out North West finds out why type 2 diabetes is up to six times more common in the South Asian community than the general UK population. Dianne Oxberry hears from a restaurant on Manchester’s curry mile that is taking action and trying to educate people, by providing alternative diabetes-friendly recipes for its favourite dishes.
Around 4.5 million people in the UK now have diabetes* and the number is continuing to rise. Most of them have type 2 which is linked to obesity and so largely preventable. Diabetic care is already costing the NHS £10 billion a year, nearly 10% of its entire budget.
Experts warn the predicted rise in preventable diabetes is putting huge strain on health service finances. With increasing numbers of young people now being diagnosed, the health service is facing a ticking time bomb.
Inside Out’s Diabetes Special airs on Monday 24 October on BBC One at 7.30pm across all 11 regions, and will be available on the BBC iPlayer for 30 days.