Inactive adults urged to get moving to avoid developing type 2 diabetes

People in Leicestershire are being ‘urged to get moving or risk jeopardising their health’, after research revealed adults in the county are among the most inactive in England.

Leicester experts at the NIHR Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity Biomedical Research Unit (BRU) and the Leicester Diabetes Centre have made the call after the county was named by NHS Digital as one of the unhealthiest areas in the UK.

Figures show nearly 31 per cent of people in the area are unlikely to take up 30 minutes of exercise on a weekly basis.

The report entitled, Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet in England 2017, showed in 2015/16 there were 525,000 admissions to NHS hospitals across the country where obesity was a factor.

Nationally 58 per cent of women and 68 per cent of men were found to be overweight or obese.

The study brings together information from a variety of sources to provide a comprehensive picture of obesity related health issues in England.

Melanie Davies CBE, Professor of Diabetes Medicine at our University, co-director of the Leicester Diabetes Centre, which is based at Leicester General Hospitals, and the director of the NIHR Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity BRU, said: “These latest figures demonstrate just how much of a significant epidemic the NHS is facing in dealing with the growing tide of obesity and its associated consequences.

“We already know there is a very strong association between obesity and the increased risk of type 2 diabetes, which is why – here at the BRU and LDC - we focus so much on prevention. In Leicester we are proud of our strong history with diabetes innovation and are currently pushing the boundaries of research and education.

“We are urging the people of Leicestershire to get moving and to do as much as they can to avoid developing this potentially life-long condition which can jeopardise health and lead to devastating complications.”

More than one in five children in reception class at primary school, and more than one in three children in Year 6 were measured as obese or overweight.

Only 26 per cent of adults were found to eat the recommended five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day in 2015, with women (27 per cent) more likely to do so than men (24 per cent).

Professor Davies CBE added: “Exercise is the best form of medicine, just 30 minutes’ physical activity a week is enough to make a difference. We are strongly urging people to turn the TV off, get off the sofa and get active before it’s too late.”

The NIHR BRUs undertake translational clinical research in priority areas of high disease burden and clinical need.

The NIHR Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity BRU harnesses the power of experimental science to explore and develop ways to help prevent and treat chronic disease.

It is a collaboration between Loughborough University, University Hospitals of Leicester and the University of Leicester.