tesco pharmacy

Almost 60% of shoppers aged under 40 have “deprioritised” their health because of the cost of living crisis, according to a survey by Tesco and its charity partner Diabetes UK.

Tesco is launching a new awareness drive ahead of World Diabetes Day on 14 November, urging customers to visit its pharmacies to use a risk tool.

It comes with nearly a quarter (23%) of those in the survey saying they have avoided or put off medical checks.

Although it is historically associated with older people, Diabetes UK said cases were now rising at a faster rate among those under 40 than in those over 40.

The national survey of people aged between 18 and 39 found 68% didn’t know how to check if they were at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, whilst 65% either didn’t know or weren’t sure what the symptoms of type 2 diabetes were, raising fears cases could go undiagnosed.

“Type 2 diabetes is one of the most common health conditions we face in the UK, but the reality is that many cases could be prevented or delayed,” said Jason Tarry CEO, UK & ROI at Tesco.

“And we know that a healthy diet is one of the ways to reduce your risk.

“In these tough times, we want to make it easier for families to enjoy an exciting, healthy, budget-friendly diet, so that even when pressed for time and money, eating healthily never feels out of reach. With 373 Tesco pharmacies across the country, serving half a million people a week, our community pharmacists can also provide expert support and advice.”

Diabetes UK CEO Chris Askew said: “This trend of rapidly-increasing early-onset type 2 diabetes is incredibly troubling. It marks a shift from what we’ve seen historically and should be taken as a serious warning to policymakers and our NHS.

“If you’re under 40, you’re not immune to type 2 diabetes. It is vital that you check your risk now and that individuals, no matter what their age or background, are given the opportunity to access support to reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes.”