Leading experts will be discussing how to tackle the challenge of childhood obesity at the Diabetes Professional Care conference taking place next month.
Earlier this month NHS Digital revealed that 20% of primary school leavers (10 and 11-year-old) are now considered to be severely overweight, where the risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases.
Latest NHS figures indicate 116,000 children are obese, which represents an increase of 1.4% since 2009/10.
In response to the rising number of obese children, the DPC conference will host a live debate where solutions to the problems will be proposed and discussed.
Titled ‘Preventing childhood obesity – whose responsibility? Policymakers, professionals, family environments or technology?’, the session will be held on Thursday, 15 November, the second day of the two-day conference.
Maggie Meer founded the event because of the poor care she received upon being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
She said: “We knew that childhood obesity is a significant problem, but what are we doing about fighting the sugar curse we’re being plagued with? Type 2 diabetes is a condition commonly associated with poor lifestyle and the future of our children’s health is dangerously at risk if we don’t take urgent action now.
“DPC is at the heart of sharing good practice and tackling subjects that need to be addressed within the field of diabetes. We’re confident our live debate is going to be engaging, thought provoking and mark the start of overturning the way our doctors, nurses, teachers, community leaders and anyone else involved in looking after children, approach obesity.”
The panel of experts lined up to take part in the debate includes MP Keith Vaz, who has type 2 diabetes and is also the chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Diabetes (APPG).
Leading diabetes paediatrician from Leeds Children’s Hospital Dr Fiona Campbell will also be contributing along with Southampton General Hospital’s Dr Mayank Patel, who is a consultant diabetologist. Health Promotion Officer at Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Dr Max Davie completes the line-up.
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) revealed earlier this year that type 2 diabetes in children and young people was rising. Based on information from paediatric diabetes centre at English and Welsh hospitals, cases in those under 25 have gone up by 41 since 2013, up from 507 to 715 in 2016-17.
Conference organiser Maggie added: “Many of us know that type 2 diabetes can be avoided through a combination of diet, exercise and education but, sadly, it seems the younger generation have missed out on being told these vital health tips, so we need to find the best way to get the message across, before it’s too late.”
DPC2018 is the UK’s leading conference for healthcare professionals working in diabetes care and takes place at London’s Olympia on 14 and 15 November.