The rise in obesity in the UK is leading to a diabetes epidemic with one in ten Britons likely to suffer from it by 2010, according to the latest data by Diabetes UK.

The new figures revealed in its survey indicate that cases of diabetes have gone up by 400,000 cases to 1.8m in that last eight years. This does not count the further one million people who are believed to be suffering from diabetes undiagnosed.

The data by Diabetes UK shows that it is type 2 diabetes that has seen the largest increase in sufferers, and this is the type directly linked to obesity.

The report shows that the condition is now being diagnosed in much younger obese people than before, as type 2 was previously only associated with overweight people of an older age.

Speaking to The Times today, David Haslam, the chairman of the National Obesity Forum said: “The obesity timebomb is already happening.”

Doctors are now predicting a rise of six million cases of diabetes by 2010, twice the amount forecast by the Government. In the UK three quarters of adults are now overweight or obese and England is experiencing the fastest growing weight problem in Europe.

In order to find a sensible plan of action to tackle the nation’s obesity problem, The Grocer recently launched its ‘Junk the Spin’ campaign calling for the government to work with the industry to find new ways of improving the nation’s health.

The Grocer wants your response on this issue and it welcomes your feedback, as well as signatures on its petition.

Its campaign criticises the government for implementing short-term fixes to complicated and long-established problems such as obesity and excess salt intake.

It also dismisses the government’s proposed plans for a labelling system for food. “It seems our campaign has not come soon enough,” says The Grocer’s editor Julian Hunt. “This is a daft idea and should be killed at birth.”

Instead, The Grocer wants to encourage the government to look at this issue in more detail and initiate a sensible debate about the role this industry can play in improving the health of our nation.

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