Blood sugar rush in the capital

03 April 2014

There has been an estimated 75% increase in Type 2 diabetes in the capital over the last decade. The number of cases in London is growing quicker than elsewhere in the country.[1]

The London Assembly Health Committee’s report; ‘Blood Sugar Rush - Diabetes Time Bomb in London’[2] shows that people of Afro-Caribbean descent are three times more likely to develop the condition than white people, with South Asians six times more likely than white people.

The report recommendations include;

  • Set clearer targets for supermarkets and manufacturers to reduce the fat, sugar and salt content of foods and drinks.
  • Develop common performance measures to assess how well care is being delivered.
  • Tackle the rising obesity problem in the capital on a local level, supported by the Mayor.
  • Instigate public education programmes to raise awareness and improve detection rates.
  • Ensure better cohesion and coordination between Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG’s) and Health and Wellbeing Boards (HWB’s)

Dr Onkar Sahota AM, Chair of the Health Committee said;

“Dealing with just the consequences of diabetes, and not what is causing it, will continue to consign as many as 750,000 Londoners to a life of trying to control an avoidable long-term condition, costing the taxpayer over £10b a year.

Healthcare providers and government have a role to play in reversing this growing crisis, as does the food and drink industry. We have to bring about the rapid reduction in the role sugar plays within the daily diet of Londoners, and the nation alike.”

Roz Rosenblatt, Diabetes UK’s London Regional Manager, said:

“We welcome the report’s focus on the need for a ‘joined-up’ approach to diabetes. We are calling for action to be taken in all CCGs and Local Authorities on obesity reduction, risk assessment and early diagnosis for those at risk of Type 2 diabetes or living with the condition without knowing it.

We have seen first-hand that when areas such as Tower Hamlets and Newham prioritise diabetes care, it is possible to have a real impact on the health of the people living in those areas. This needs to be happening in all boroughs across the capital, otherwise the people of London and the NHS will be in real danger.”

Five million more people in the UK are expected to be living with diabetes within the next 10 years. 850,000 people nationally are estimated to have the condition, but have not been formally diagnosed.

Notes to editors

  1. Diabetes Guide for London, NHS Healthcare for London, March 2009
  2. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.